Mother Tongue: A Memoir

  • Ian McEwan


I don’t write like my mother, but for many years I spoke like her, and her particular, timorous relationship with language has shaped my own. As she sleeps and the wipers toil to clear the windscreen, I can’t help thinking of what she said—riding about like Lady Muck. I haven’t heard that in years. Lady Muck. Where there’s muck there’s brass. It must have been in use in the 1930s, or 40s. I’ll use it. It’s right for the novel I’m finishing now. I’ll have it. Then I’ll always remember that she said it. I have a character just coming to life who can use her words. So thank you, Rose, for that—and all the rest.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian McEwan
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

Personalised recommendations