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Books, Journals, New Media
June 10, 1998

FictionEnduring Love

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998American Medical Association


by Ian McEwan, 262 pp, $23.95, ISBN 0-385-49112-3, New York, NY, Nan A Talese/Doubleday, 1997.

JAMA. 1998;279(22):1837. doi:10.1001/jama.279.22.1837

Eminent British science writer and physicist manqué Joe Rose is reunited with his wife, Keats scholar Clarissa Mellon, who has been abroad for six weeks. Their picnic barely begun, they are caught up in an accident whose consequences undermine their relationship. Thus begins a haunting tale.

Science is so much the fabric of Enduring Love that the novel might be deemed another sort of "science fiction." Rose, the narrator, mulls over his projects: articles on the Hubble telescope, "the death of anecdote and narrative in science," the smile. Science is not merely what he writes about but the lens of his world view, as he evaluates nearly every feeling, action, and occurrence according to scientific principles, especially evolutionary theory. On another level, the novel's events play out according to phenomena of the physical and biological world: randomness, coincidence, perturbed equilibrium.

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