14/08/2014 17:02 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Find Out The Sex Of Your Unborn Baby? Novelist Ian McEwan Says It's Not Important

Mark Evans

Writer Ian McEwan says finding out the sex of your unborn baby to 'confer a pink or blue fate on them' is tawdry.

Speaking at the Hay Festival in the Brecon Beacons, the 65-year-old writer, famous for books such as Atonement and The Cement Garden, said his son and partner were expecting a child but 'were absolutely clear that they did not want to know the sex of their child'.

The father of two sons then added: "It is above all a person. Knowing in advance this social identity which confers a pink and blue fate almost seems like a form of moral kitsch, because what you are celebrating is a person.

"So I rather take the same view of my characters, if it falls out it is a woman or a man then I go that way."

The twice married author was publicising his new novel, The Children Act. He was speaking about parents' wish to know the sex of an unborn child as he related it to his creative process.

McEwan, who has won many accolades for his writing is regarded as one of England's finest modern writers and has won awards including the Booker prize and the Jerusalem Prize.

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