BOOKS
03/29/2013 08:36 am ET

Sneaky Author Tricks

“No. And no again. Not that.” So says Serena Frome, the narrator of Ian McEwan’s 2012 novel, “Sweet Tooth.” What she’s protesting is a story written by her lover, Tom, in which an author at work on her second novel is scrutinized by a worried companion, a talking ape. “Only on the last page,” Serena explains, “did I discover that the story I was reading was actually the one the woman was writing. The ape doesn’t exist, it’s a specter, the creature of her fretful imagination.”

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