I’m re-reading Ian McEwan’s Atonement ahead of the release of the film on Boxing Day. It’s an exquisite treat. Each sentence is so well constructed, so revealing of some truth of experience, that I feel guilty reading it quickly. It’s like an extremely expensive meal that can’t even be replicated if you had the money: there are only a couple of books this good in the whole world and you can only read them so many times.
McEwan, my second favourite writer, and Auster, my first favourite writer, will both be speaking at the Adelaide Writers’ Festival. And I won’t be there. Like a fool, I hesitated, scared to ask for time off work when I was just starting a new job, and the event is sold out. It feels like a dream that first they could be speaking at the same event in the same country as me and second that I missed out.