Memoir in McEwan row soars in value

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The Independent Culture

An out-of-print memoir that Ian McEwan was accused of plagiarising in his novel Atonement has soared in value. Lucilla Andrews' 30-year-old book No Time for Romance, previously on sale on Amazon for $12.50, has jumped to $2,185.71 (£1,100).

It was claimed last month that McEwan copied from Andrews' account of her experiences as a nurse at St Thomas's hospital in London during the Second World War. He had acknowledged drawing on her work in notes.

Now the normally publicity-shy US author Thomas Pynchon has weighed in on McEwan's side.

According to Pynchon, the use of details from other sources is "simply what we [novelists] do".

"Writers are naturally drawn, chimpanzee-like, to the colour and the music of this English idiom," he said. "Memoirs have borne indispensable witness... For Mr McEwan to have put details from one of them to further creative use, acknowledging this openly... merits not our scolding, but our gratitude."

Andrews, who died of cancer earlier this year aged 86, wrote 35 novels.

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