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Darker by the day: Reading Mc Ewan’s The Cement Garden with Mariela Burani

Do you want to prolong the summer feeling? Read the nouvelle beforehand and join us for the first 2021 discussion of APRIR’s reading group.

The Cement Garden, McEwan’s first controversial novel, tells the story of Jack, a fourteen-year-old, and his three siblings who are left orphaned when both their parents die unexpectedly. Scared that they might be taken into foster care and separated, they decide to keep that a secret. But this decision leads to their mental and physical deterioration amid a chaotic parentless home.


‘This was McEwan’s very first novel, which earned him the fame and the nickname Ian Macabre.’ (The Guardian)

‘The Cement Garden is a Freudian nightmare of family dysfunction and gothic sexuality that kick-started McEwan’s long and illustrious career as a novelist.’ (New York Times)

‘In this tour de force of psychological unease McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting or denying.’ (Goodreads)

‘Marvellously creates the atmosphere of youngsters given that instant adulthood they all crave, where the ordinary takes on a mysterious glow and the extraordinary seems rather commonplace. It is difficult to fault the writing or the construction of this eerie fable.’ (Sunday Times)

‘Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies.’ (Washington Post Book World.)

‘The novel is a masterclass in clarity and precision; the imperturbable authority of the author is felt but not heard.’ (Independent)

How are we going to work?

Read the novel during the summer, jot down your impressions, your ideas, and your opinions and then join Mariela Burani in a two-hour meeting on March 13th to discuss them via Zoom.

How much does it cost?

APRIR members: $500 – Non-members: $700

How do I enrol?

Once your enrolment is confirmed pay by bank transfer AND email us the slip at  

Vacancies are very limited, because a reading group like this one must be kept small, so secure your place by paying in advance. First come, first served!

Banco Nación Suc. 3020- Rosario
CBU Nº 0110444240044427146462
Cuenta Corriente Especial
Nº de cuenta: 444271464/6
Asociación de Profesores de Inglés de Rosario
CUIT: 30680502109


You can buy the novel in local bookshops or order it online from well-known websites. If you are having trouble getting hold of it email us for assistance.

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