A jewel of a short story from the author of Atonement and Nutshell—“My Purple Scented Novel” follows the perfect crime of literary betrayal, scrupulously wrought yet unscrupulously executed. Published to celebrate Ian McEwan’s 70th birthday.
“You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade. . . . You’d never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline. . . . I don’t deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don’t intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession.”