Somerset Maugham Award winner: Dark early fiction by the author of Nutshell—“A splendid magician of fear” (The Village Voice Literary Supplement).
Taut, brooding, and densely atmospheric, the stories here show us how murder can arise out of boredom, perversity from adolescent curiosity—and how sheer evil can become the solution to unbearable loneliness.
These short fiction pieces from the early career of the New York Times–bestselling and Man Booker Prize–winning author of Atonement and On Chesil Beach are claustrophobic tales of childhood, twisted psychology, and disjointed family life as terrifying as anything by Stephen King—and finely crafted with a lyricism and an intensity that compels us to confront our secret kinship with what repels us.
“A powerful talent that is both weird and wonderful.” —The Boston Sunday Globe
“Ian McEwan’s fictional world combin[es] the bleak, dreamlike quality of de Chirico’s city-scapes with the strange eroticism of canvases by Balthus. Menace lies crouched between the lines of his neat, angular prose, and weird, grisly things occur in his books with nearly casual aplomb.” —The New York Times
RosettaBooks; February 2011
- ISBN: 9780795301896
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: First Love, Last Rites
- Author: Ian McEwan
About The Author
First Love, Last Rites was Ian McEwan's first published book and is a collection of short stories that in 1976 won the Somerset Maugham Award. A second volume of his work appeared in 1978. These stories—claustrophobic tales of childhood, deviant sexuality and disjointed family life—were remarkable for their formal experimentation and controlled narrative voice. McEwan's first novel, The Cement Garden (1978), is the story of four orphaned children living alone after the death of both parents. To avoid being taken into custody, they bury their mother in the cement of the basement and attempt to carry on life as normally as possible. Soon, an incestuous relationship develops between the two oldest children as they seek to emulate their parents roles. The Cement Garden was followed by The Comfort of Strangers (1981), set in Venice, a tale of fantasy, violence, and obsession. The Child in Time (1987) won the Whitbread Novel Award and marked a new confidence in McEwan's writing. The story revolves around the devastating effects of the loss of a child through child abduction. Readers may know McEwan's work through these and other books, or more recently through his novel, Atonement, which was made into a major motion picture.