Day: April 1, 2004

Ian McEwan barred from entering US by border officials

“One of Laura Bush’s favourite British authors has been refused entry to the US, a day before he was due to lecture to an audience of 2,500 people.

Ian McEwan was stopped by immigration officials as he left Vancouver airport, in Canada, for an engagement in Seattle.

The man who was last year invited to Downing Street by Cherie Blair to meet American’s first lady – who said she keeps a McEwan novel by her bedside – found himself detained for four hours before being turned back.” —Guardian.UK

McEwan noted he has “been doing this type of thing for 30 years and I have never been refused entry”. The comments from McEwan’s would-be host, CalTech, suggest that his refusal was purely the result of a technicality. I cannot find any record of comments from US officials on the matter. Do any readers know of any positions taken by McEwan on issues that would get him barred? I would be interested in seeing what would happen if John Le Carré tried to tour the US behind his most recent book, Absolute Friends.