Letter to the New Yorker

In his affectionate profile of the great English novelist Ian McEwan (“The Background Hum,” 2/23/09), Daniel Zalewski writes that McEwan “is surely the only novelist who owns a tie patterned with images of a craniotome — a tool for drilling holes in the skull.”

In fact, my second daughter, Bethany, a practicing neuropathologist (Harvard ’99), gave me just such a tie as a gift on the occasion of my fifty-eighth birthday, in April 1996  — the same month, I should add, that saw the publication of my fourth novel, The Black Bridesmaid. With all due respect to the New Yorker‘s factchecking staff, a correction is in order.

Zalewski goes on to report that McEwan, “at sixty, has probably rambled more miles than any English writer since Coleridge.” I acknowledge the difficulty one may have in determining what precisely constitutes a ramble; it must be stated, however, that I, too, am an English writer (born and raised in Thrussex Grambles, East Pouncey), and, with notably few exceptions, I’ve rambled every day of my life since puberty. In good weather, I often ramble twice a day, and, during my most active years (1973–1990), I rambled for weeks at a time. Each of my individual ramble-sessions covers between ten and fifteen miles; I rarely ramble fewer than six. Surely Ian McEwan has not rambled quite so much as that.


Barry Larbb
Pronkwhistle Meadows
Splimpfshat, KP



2 thoughts on “Letter to the New Yorker

  1. Pingback: Monday Links « A Rockridge Life

  2. Kaela

    Less than a mile down the road, rising from the ashes of Kep like an extravagant bird-of-paradise, is the chic 11-room seaside hotel, Knai Bang Chatt, designed in the ’70s by a protégé of Le Corbusier. No one is crying here. All is luxury and escapism; lush plantings and an infinity pool are combined in a way that fairly screams “James Bond love lair.” Sprawled poolside is a muscular young Belgian gentleman engrossed in his Ian McEwan. The man idly smoothes out the waistband of his black designer swimsuit, the greatest irritation he will face all day. Tonight he will dine under a gorgeous palapa-style structure by the sea, and perhaps join other guests for a midnight swim in the Gulf of Thailand.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s