Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his 16th birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin.
"A smart, chilling story. Told in a very unique way"
In 2029 the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the "almighty dollar" plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency: the "bancor". In retaliation the president declares that America will default on its loans. With "Deadbeat Nation" being unable to borrow, the government prints money to cover its bills. What little remains for savers is rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation.
"So that's what the left and the right have in common!!!"
When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the airport, she doesn't recognize him. In the four years since the siblings last saw each other, he has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? Imposing himself on Pandora's world, Edison breaks her husband Fletcher's handcrafted furniture, and entices her stepson to drop out of high school. After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It's him or me.
"Well worth the credit--"
Kevin Khatchadourian killed several of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher, shortly before his 16th birthday. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, the story of Kevin's upbringing. A successsful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother.
"what a pity it was abridged!"
Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid, until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton.
"What is wrong with these people?"
Shep Knacker has long saved for “The Afterlife”: an idyllic retreat to the Third World where his nest egg can last forever. Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with “talking, thinking, seeing, and being” — and enough sleep. When he sells his business for a cool million dollars, his dream finally seems within reach. Yet his wife Glynis has concocted endless excuses why it’s never the right time to go.
"haunting...read this summer on the beach!!"
The brilliant new novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin centres on three generations of the Mandible family as a fiscal crisis hits a near-future America. It is 2029. The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies. Yet America's soaring national debt has grown so enormous that it can never be repaid. Under siege from an upstart international currency, the dollar is in meltdown.
"What a great read!"
World-famous anthropologist Gray Kaiser has almost everything. She is brilliance, self-sufficient, and beautiful. But at 59, one thing is still missing from her life. She has never been in love. Her assistant Errol McEchern has loved her for many years, but she doesn't know.
"unusual subject.. yet interesting"
Ostracized as a kid, Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. A disgruntled New York corporate lawyer, he's more than ready to leave his lucrative career for the excitement and uncertainty of journalism. When he's offered the post of foreign correspondent in a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a homegrown terrorist movement, Edgar recognizes the disappeared larger-than-life reporter he's been sent to replace, Barrington Saddler, as exactly the outsize character he longs to emulate.
"Not as clever as it's trying to be"
The year is 2029, and nothing is as it should be. The very essence of American life, the dollar, is under attack. In a coordinated move by the rest of the world's governments, the dollar loses all its value. The American president declares that the States will default on all its loans; prices skyrocket, currency becomes essentially worthless, and we watch one family struggle to survive through it all. The Mandibles can count on their inheritance no longer, and each member must come to terms with this in their own way.
"Will the Left Survive the Millennials?" is from the September 22, 2016 Opinion section of The New York Times. It was written by Lionel Shriver and narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.
The five titles shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2013, administered in partnership with BookTrust. Contains: Mrs Fox by Sarah Hall read by Andrea Riseborough, Barmouth by Lisa Blower read by Rebekah Staton, Prepositions by Lionel Shriver read by Nancy Crane, Notes from the House of Spirits by Lucy Wood read by Hattie Morahan, We Are Watching Something Terrible Happening by Lavinia Greenlaw read by Claire Skinner.
Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. Bored rigid by his pedestrian life as a solicitor, Edgar decides to risk everything on trying to make it as a journalist. When he’s offered the post of foreign correspondent in Barba - a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a terrorist movement - Edgar leaps at the chance to replace a blowhard called "Barrington Saddler" who’s disappeared. But the more Edgar learns about his posting, and his larger-than-life predecessor, the more he realizes that it’s not Barban terrorism he’s covering; it’s Barrington Saddler.
Following the death of her worthy liberal parents, Corlis McCrea moves back into her family's grand Reconstruction mansion in North Carolina, willed to all three siblings. Her timid younger brother has never left home. When her bullying black-sheep older brother moves into "his" house as well, it's war.
When Pandora picks up her older brother, Edison, at her local Iowa airport, she literally doesn’t recognize him. The once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? Soon Edison’s slovenly habits, appalling diet, and know-it-all monologues are driving Pandora and her fitness-freak husband Fletcher insane. After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It’s him or me. Rich with Shriver’s distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat: why we overeat and whether extreme diets ever really work.
"interesting, timely, insightful"
For 10 years Estrin Lancaster has fled Philadelphia. From the Philippines to Berlin, she's been a traveler without a destination, an expatriate without a motherland. In each of the cities Estrin favors, she manages an apartment, a job, and a lover and never tarries past the first signs of ennui.
"Big fan of Lionel Shriver, not this book"
Tennis has been Willy Novinsky's one love ever since she first picked up a racquet at the age of four. A middle-ranked pro at 23, she's met her match in Eric Oberdorf, a low-ranked Princeton grad who also intends to make his mark on the international tennis circuit. Eric becomes Willy's first passion off the court, and eventually they marry. But while wedded life begins well, competition soon puts a strain on their relationship - and an accident sends Willy sliding irrevocably toward resentment, tragedy, and despair.
"Nine hours of arguing"
Eleanor Merritt, a do-gooding American family-planning worker, was drawn to Kenya to improve the lot of the poor. Unnervingly, she finds herself falling in love with the beguiling Calvin Piper despite, or perhaps because of, his misanthropic theories about population control and the future of the human race. Surely, Calvin whispers seductively in Eleanor's ear, if the poor are a responsibility they are also an imposition.
Checker Secretti is the most gifted and original drummer that the club-goers of Astoria, Queens, have ever heard. When he plays, conundrums seem to solve themselves, brilliant thoughts spring to mind, and couples fall in love. The members of his band, The Derailleurs, are passionately devoted to their guiding spirit, as are all who fall under Checker's spell. But when another drummer, Eaton Striker, hears the prodigy play, he is pulled inexorably into Checker's orbit by a powerful combination of envy and admiration.
"Still haven't finish"
A letter between two female friends is fraught with difficult emotions as long-held resentments are finally expressed. One woman's husband died in 9/11 while the woman writing the letter lost her husband on 9/11, in an incident unrelated to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Two deaths, both tragic, have sent the women's lives in opposite directions, placing unforeseen pressures on their friendship.