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The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver

The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047

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May 2016 Book of the Month.

A huge tale of a future America and its economic downfall. It centres on four generations of one family, the Mandibles, and attempts to explain how the economics of 2029 works. Whites are in the minority, the Hispanics the majority, along with the obese and the elderly. Robots are fully functional so employment opportunities are minimal. There is a water shortage and later a shortage of everything. Theft and extortion shine. There are many families to a house, even to a room. By 2047 quite a lot has recovered and people are now ‘chipped’. We learn all this as our family struggles to survive. Strangely it seems very plausible as it gives us a glimmer of light in one State, Nevada. It is a challenging read, a story of optimism as well as destruction, impressive and fascinating. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

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


The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver

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. A bloodless world war will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Their inheritance turned to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also - as the effects of the downturn start to hit - the challenge of sheer survival. Recently affluent Avery is petulant that she can't buy olive oil, while her sister Florence is forced to absorb strays into her increasingly cramped household. As their father Carter fumes at having to care for his demented stepmother now that a nursing home is too expensive, his sister Nollie, an expat author, returns from abroad at 73 to a country that's unrecognizable. Perhaps only Florence's oddball teenage son Willing, an economics autodidact, can save this formerly august American family from the streets. This is not science fiction. This is a frightening, fascinating, scabrously funny glimpse into the decline that may await the United States all too soon, from the pen of perhaps the most consistently perceptive and topical author of our times.


Praise for THE MANDIBLES: A Family, 2029-2047

'It's scaring the hell out of me
Tracy Chevalier Praise for Lionel Shriver:

'Shriver is a brilliant writer'
Sunday Times

'Shriver proves she is not afraid of anything...'

'It's a wonder that subject matter on the surface so bleak can be transformed into something so uplifting'
Daily Telegraph

'You can rely on Lionel Shriver to upend your expectations'
Daily Express

'Required reading for all mortals'
Daily Mail

'...witty, observant and beautifully controlled'
Literary Review

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

12th May 2016


Lionel Shriver

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The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers




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