Ian McEwan: Machines Like Me, 15 April 2019

Ian McEwan
Author Ian McEwan
Author Ian McEwan

Join Ian McEwan for an exclusive event as he reflects on his life in writing and his latest novel, Machines Like Me.

Southbank Centre, in collaboration with Vintage Live, is thrilled to present multiple-award winning author Ian McEwan as he reflects on his many works of fiction. A master of psychological portraiture, and unafraid of fictional experimentation, McEwan has remained at the top of his game for more than four decades, each new novel an eagerly-awaited delight for his many admirers.

McEwan’s latest novel Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London: Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers are tested beyond their understanding.  This subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: What makes us human, our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart?

Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen books. He has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize six times, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Several of McEwan’s novels have been made into highly successful films, including Atonement¸ Enduring Love, On Chesil Beach and most recently The Children Act.

Ian McEwan will be in conversation with Martha Kearney.

Martha Kearney is a presenter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and one of the BBC's most respected political journalists. Before joining the Today programme, she hosted Radio 4's The World At One for 11 years. Kearney has been political editor of Newsnight and presented Radio 4’s Woman's Hour for nearly a decade. She has won the Sony Radio Bronze Award and been nominated for a BAFTA for her coverage of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Machines Like Me
Machines Like Me

**Number One Sunday Times Bestseller**

Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret.

When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda’s assistance, he co-designs Adam’s personality.

This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever – and soon a love triangle forms, which leads Charlie, Miranda and Adam to a profound moral dilemma. Can you design the perfect partner? What makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives?

Provocative and moving, Machines Like Me explores whether a machine can ever truly understand the human heart.

‘Funny, thought-provoking and politically acute…
Sunday Times

‘Dazzling’ Guardian

‘An unsettling examination of the human condition. Bold, clever’ Sunday Telegraph

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more