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We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2005.

Narrated by a mother, Eve, in letters to her estranged husband, this is a truly horrific story of a 15-year old boy’s killing spree but it is more the tale of how he got there than of the crime itself. It harks back to Eve’s relationship with her husband and the upbringing of the child. The big question is how much she is, or not, to blame for the tragedy that unfolds. Stark and unbelievably painful, it touches on truths not often spoken of. A great book.

Similar this month: None but try Clare Sambrook.
Comparison: Douglas Coupland, Alex Garland, Jodi Picoult.

If you like Lionel Shriver you might also like to read books by Anita Shreve, Scarlett Thomas and Douglas Coupland.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

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Synopsis

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 29 January 2009.

Two years ago, Eva Khatchadourian's son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker, and a popular algebra teacher. Because he was only fifteen at the time of the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is now in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York. Telling the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses herself to her estranged husband through a series of letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault?

Reviews

'An awesomely smart, stylish and pitiless achievement'
Independent

'Taps into unspoken fears of maternal ambivalence that are not easily acknowledged and do not fit neatly into glossy magazine notions of female empowerment'
Guardian Unlimited

'Harrowing, tense and thought-provoking, this is a vocal challenge to every accepted parenting manual you've ever read'
Daily Mail

'An elegant psychological and philosophical investigation of culpability with a brilliant denouement'
Observer

'As a mother of two, reading Lionel Shriver's novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin was a comfort and a revelation'
Jenni Murray, BBC Women's Hour

About the Author

Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver's novels include the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, which won the 2005 Orange Prize and has now sold over a million copies worldwide. Other books include Double Fault, A Perfectly Good Family, and So Much for That. Lionel’s novels have been translated into twenty-five different languages and. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th May 2006

Author

Lionel Shriver

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Publisher

Serpents Tail

Format

Paperback (b Format)
496 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
Family Drama
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781846687341

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