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Excerpt From McEwan’s New Novel–Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan will be out in a few weeks. But I’ve got an excerpt below to give you a taste of what’s to come. McEwan is a British novelist of fine repute. Most people know him as the guy who wrote the novel on which the movie Atonement was based. Funny story:  McEwan helped his son write an essay assignment in response to a question about his book. Apparently, his book was featured on his son’s English class syllabus. Guess what grade the paper got. C! Surprised? It’s no news really. Authors have always sucked at making sense of their own works.

As far as subject matter goes, Sweet Tooth seems a bit less heavy than some of his others stuff. I may be wrong. But it’s hard to compare the spy-romance texture of Sweet Tooth to the slightly apocalyptic feel of Saturday. I get tired of the heavy stuff, so if Sweet Tooth is in deed different, all the better for me. Check out the synopsis and hurry on to read the excerpt.

Check out the for Sweet Tooth:

The year is 1972…Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on a secret mission codenamed Sweet Tooth, which brings her into the literary world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage – trust no one.

Excerpt from Sweet Tooth

It was a pleasant break in routine to travel down to Brighton one unseasonably warm morning in mid-October, to cross the cavernous railway station and smell the salty air and hear the falling cries of herring gulls. I remembered the word from a summer Shakespeare production of Othello on the lawn at King’s. A gull. Was I looking for a gull? Certainly not. I took the dilapidated three-carriage Lewes train and got out at the Falmer stop to walk the quarter mile to the redbrick building site called the University of Sussex, or, as it was known in the press for a while, Balliol-by-the-Sea. I was wearing a red mini-skirt and black jacket with high collar, black high heels and a white patent leather shoulder bag on a short strap. Ignoring the pain in my feet, I swanked along the paved approach to the main entrance through the student crowds, disdainful of the boys – I regarded them as boys – shaggily dressed out of army surplus stores, and even more so of the girls with their long plain centre-parted hair, no make-up and cheesecloth skirts. Some students were barefoot, in sympathy, I assumed, with peasants of the undeveloped world. The very word “campus” seemed to me a frivolous import from the USA. As I self-consciously strode towards Sir Basil Spence’s creation in a fold of the Sussex Downs, I felt dismissive of the idea of a new university. For the first time in my life I was proud of my Cambridge and Newnham connection. How could a serious university be new? And how could anyone resist me in my confection of red, white and black, intolerantly scissoring my way towards the porters’ desk, where I intended to ask directions? — Continue Reading

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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