A striking new collection of ten short stories and two novellas that explores the idea of property in every meaning of the word, from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Intermingling settings in America and Britain, Lionel Shriver's first collection explores property in both senses of the word: real estate and stuff. These pieces illustrate how our possessions act as proxies for ourselves, and how tussles over ownership articulate the power dynamics of our relationships. In Lionel Shriver's world, we may possess people and objects and places, but in turn they possess us.
In the stunning novella "The Standing Chandelier," a woman with a history of attracting other women's antagonism creates a deeply personal wedding present for her best friend and his fianc e--only to discover that the jealous fianc e wants to cut her out of their lives. In "Domestic Terrorism," a thirty-something son refuses to leave home, resulting in a standoff that renders him a millennial cause c l bre. In "The ChapStick," a middle-aged man subjugated by service to his elderly father discovers that the last place you should finally assert yourself is airport security. In "Vermin," an artistic Brooklyn couple's purchase of a ramshackle house destroys their once-passionate relationship. In "The Subletter," two women, both foreign conflict junkies, fight over a claim to a territory that doesn't belong to either.
Exhibiting a satisfying thematic unity unusual for a collection, this masterful work showcases the biting insight that has made Shriver one of the most acclaimed writers of our time.
Praise for THE MANDIBLES: A FAMILY, 2029-2047: `Shriver's intelligence, mordant humour and vicious leaps of imagination all combine to make this a novel that is as unsettling as it is entertaining' FINANCIAL TIMES `As ever, Shriver cuts close to the bone! . . . Distinctly chilling' INDEPENDENT `A tale that fizzes with ideas and jokes . . . the comedy is pitch black' THE TIMES `Shriver is fast becoming the go-to novelist for some of the big issues . . . breezy, mordantly comic . . . if the test of a futuristic novel is its eerie proximity to the present, this passes with flying colours' DAILY MAIL
LIONEL SHRIVER'S novels include the National Book Award finalist So Much for That, the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World, the Sunday Times bestseller The Mandibles: A Family 2029-2047, and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian and the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many other publications. Her short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker and in 2014 she won the BBC National Short Story Award. She lives in London and Brooklyn, New York