Critical Mass

Ian McEwan on What to Read this Summer

By Ian McEwan

The month of June kicks off Reading the World. As part of this project, the NBCC has asked writers from around the globe to recommend a book from beyond these shores. We asked NBCC winning novelist Ian McEwan what he had to recommend. He came back with Selected Poems of James Fenton (FSG).

“There is a strong case to be made that James Fenton is the finest poet writing in English. His technical virtuosity is beyond doubt; his long experience as war correspondent, journalist and traveller has given him an unmatched range of subject matter – war and revolution, the dementia of collective passions, reflections on fate, and love – he has written some of the most beautiful love poems of our times. He is a poet of great emotional depth and wisdom. Increasingly, his work has a strong connection with song. He also has a taste for light verse of exquisite charm and humour. He is a modern master.”