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Love the eater

Deborah Friedell: Lionel Shriver

20 June 2013
Big Brother 
by Lionel Shriver.
HarperCollins, 373 pp., £16.99, May 2013, 978 0 00 727109 2
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... minds about them: Emma Bovary’s eyes are black in one chapter, in other chapters brown or blue. Lionel Shriver rarely lingers over physical descriptions, with one great exception: she’s highly conscious of how much her characters weigh. Her most famous novel, We Need to Talk about Kevin, is arranged as a series of letters written by the narrator to ...

Who would you have been?

Jessica Olin: No Kids!

26 August 2015
Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids 
edited by Meghan Daum.
Picador, 282 pp., £17.99, May 2015, 978 1 250 05293 3
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... becoming mothers; they may face this conflict later – or not at all. Another contributor, Lionel Shriver, became notorious as the ‘anti-mom’ after publishing We Need to Talk about Kevin (2003), her novel about a woman who loathes being pregnant, never bonds with her son, and becomes a pariah after he carries out a Columbine-style attack at ...

What Is Great about Ourselves

Pankaj Mishra: Closing Time

20 September 2017
The Retreat of Western Liberalism 
by Edward Luce.
Little, Brown, 240 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 4087 1041 8
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The Fate of the West: Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea 
by Bill Emmott.
Economist, 257 pp., £22, May 2017, 978 1 61039 780 3
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The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics 
by David Goodhart.
Hurst, 256 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 84904 799 9
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The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics 
by Mark Lilla.
Harper, 143 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 0 06 269743 1
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The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam 
by Douglas Murray.
Bloomsbury, 343 pp., £18.99, May 2017, 978 1 4729 4224 1
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... intellectuals presaged the revolt of the uprooted masses. Writing in the Financial Times in 2006, Lionel Shriver confessed to feeling pushed out by Guatemalan immigrants who had ‘colonised’ a recreation area in New York’s Riverside Park (‘The last few times I practised my forehand, I drew wary looks and felt unwelcome’). Asserting that the ...

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