Atonement was shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize for fiction. It was also shortlisted for the 2001 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the 2001 Whitbread Novel Award. It won the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, the 2002 WH Smith Literary Award, the 2002 Boeke Prize and the 2004 Santiago Prize for the European Novel. In its 1000th issue, Entertainment Weekly named the novel #82 on its list of the 100 best books from 1983-2008. Additionally, Time named it the best fiction novel of the year and included it in its All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels. The Observer cites it as one of the 100 greatest novels ever written, calling it "a contemporary classic of mesmerising narrative conviction."
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- D’hoker, Elke. “Confession and Atonement in Contemporary Fiction: J. M. Coetzee, John Banville, and Ian McEwan.” Critique 48.1 (2006): 31–43.
- Finney, Brian. "Briony's Stand Against Oblivion: The Making of Fiction in Ian McEwan's Atonement." Journal of Modern Literature 27.3 (2004): 68–82.
- Harold, James. "Narrative Engagement with Atonement and The Blind Assassin." Philosophy and Literature 29.1 (2005): 130–145.
- Hidalgo, Pilar. “Memory and Storytelling in Ian McEwan’s Atonement.” Critique 46.2 (2005): 82–91.
- Ingersoll, Earl G. “Intertextuality in L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between and Ian McEwan’s Atonement.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 40 (2004): 241–58.
- O'Hara, David K. "Briony's Being-For: Metafictional Narrative Ethics in Ian McEwan’s Atonement." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 52.1 (December 2010): 72–100.
- Salisbury, Laura. "Narration and Neurology: Ian McEwan's Mother Tongue", Textual Practice 24.5 (2010): 883–912.
- Schemberg, Claudia. Achieving 'At-one-ment': Storytelling and the Concept of Self in Ian McEwan's The Child in Time, Black Dogs, Enduring Love and Atonement.' Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2004.
- Phelan, James. “Narrative Judgments and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative: Ian McEwan’s Atonement.” A Companion to Narrative Theory. Ed. James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005. 322-36.