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'Atonement' Opera In The Works

Atonement-03192010.jpg

English novelist and screenwriter Ian McEwan has confirmed plans to adapt his 2001 book "Atonement" for the live stage.

The book gained widespread popularity as the basis for the 2007 film of the same name starring Keira Knightley. The story will now take on the opera format with music from Michael Berkeley and lyrical contributions from poet Craig Raine.

"Atonement" chronicles the lives of two World War II lovers that are driven apart by the antics of a young girl. It was shortlisted for several literary prizes upon its release including the Booker Prize, James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Whitebread Book Award.

The book became the center of a controversy in 2006 when McEwan was accused of plagiarizing large portions of "Atonement" from a 1977 memoir written by British romance novelist Lucilla Andrews.

The accusations came after Andrews' death and many top literary figures including Martin Amis, Thomas Pynchon, John Updike and Margaret Atwood stood in McEwan's defense.

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