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'A 19th-century plot'

22 December 2014

'I've always been interested in those painful moments between people which can't be fully articulated, and even if they were fully articulated might become even more unbearable. There's no way out. Nor do I think in situations like that there's that horrible American word 'closure'. Because for all the sexual liberation, the great social changes through the 60s and 70s, one meets loads of people who seem to have been married for ever. I'd say at least two-thirds of my contemporaries have been married since their twenties. It's still possible to write, as it were, a 19th-century plot in which one person having one affair is as explosive as anything you can imagine, and never to be forgiven - or at least never to be forgotten.'

Ian McEwan, talking about The Children Act in the Sunday Times magazine