So, if you were a world-famous author, and your child’s A-level text was one of your own best-sellers, and you tutored them about what you thought they might want to consider when writing an essay about it … what would you do if your child only got a C+ when the essay was marked?
You may know that this happened to Ian McEwan when his son was studying Enduring Love.
I’m imaging a host of mixed emotions might have been possible from Mr McEwan Snr . . . something akin perhaps to those identified by psychologist Paul Eckman in the 1970s and 1990s . . . fear, disgust, anger, surprise, sadness, embarrassment, contempt, even shame.
Possibly also, excitement and happiness that his book was being used as an A-level text, mingled with a little bit of pride?
And, I wonder … how about two more emotions: amusement and satisfaction. I imagine Mr McEwan is comfortable enough in his own skin to have laughed off his son’s teacher’s comments, while I am sure at the same time offering his son some sympathy for his plight.