Honoring Ian McEwanGAMBIER, Ohio (October 20, 2006) Ian McEwan, a British novelist whose work has earned him worldwide acclaim, has been named the winner of the 2006 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. McEwan, the author of Atonement, Amsterdam, and, most recently, Saturday, will receive the award at a gala dinner on November 9 at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City.
"Ian McEwan's fiction is notable for its fierce ethical engagements and its exceptional artistry," said David H. Lynn, editor of the Review. "More than any other recent author, McEwan explores the unanticipated and often brutal collisions between the ordinary and the extraordinary."
Regarded as one of Britain's leading contemporary fiction writers, McEwan has won many awards for his work. Amsterdam received the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1998, and two other novels were shortlisted for that high-profile award. Atonement, widely seen as a masterpiece, won a number of prizes, including the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), the National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). A film version of Atonement is currently in production. Earlier this year, Saturday won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the United Kingdom's oldest literary award.
The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement was first presented in 2002 to novelist E.L. Doctorow, a 1952 graduate of Kenyon, who is known for such works as The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, and Loon Lake and more recently for The March. In 2003 the recipient was novelist and short-story writer Joyce Carol Oates, author of Wonderland, Do With Me What You Will, and We Were the Mulvaneys, among many other works. In 2004, Seamus Heaney, recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature, received the award. Last year the Review honored Roger Angell, the renowned baseball writer who has also been fiction editor of the New Yorker, and Umberto Eco, the Italian author of such best-selling novels as The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum.
Proceeds from the dinner, and from the live and silent auctions that accompany it, benefit the Kenyon Review's endowment fund, ensuring the legacy of one of America's most revered literary journals. The endowment also supports scholarships and fellowships to the Review's summer writing programs, the Writers Workshop for adults and the Young Writers program for high-school students. The magazine's literary outreach programs include the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers, established in 2003, which attracts thousand of entries from across the globe to its online contest at www.KenyonReview.org.
The gala event is sponsored in part by Bloomberg.