Lionel Shriver revels in her status as a contrarian provocateur, blithely pushing back against the conventional wisdom du jour, drawn to creating characters who are difficult to love . . . yet lyrical about their ambivalences.
Those ambivalences have never been on more compelling display than in her latest novel, Should We Stay or Should We Go, in which a couple in their early 50s make a pact to commit suicide once they turn 80 lest they fall into protracted, humiliating declines.
As with so many of the seemingly best-laid plans, once their eighth decade passes, their stalwart blow for death with dignity unravels into questions about what they might miss should they depart prematurely, whether a cure for aging might be around the corner and whether dementia might actually be fun. In Shriver’s nimble hands, each question becomes a parallel universe.
Lionel Shriver is the author of 16 prior novels dealing with everything from maternal ambivalence and the US healthcare system to rock-and-roll drumming, Northern Ireland and Donald Trump’s border wall.
Women on the Move: A Virtual Series
Temple Emanu-El’s Stettenheim Library is proud to present its fourth edition of Women on the Move, a series that welcomes female authors to discuss their latest work probing the intricacies of our lives.
The series will be moderated by Zibby Owens, writer and creator of the popular podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books, one of O: The Oprah Magazine’s favorite book podcasts; journalist Jordana Horn, co-host of the Call Your Mother podcast and contributing editor at Kveller; and Marjorie Shuster, Coordinator of Literary Events at Temple Emanu-El.
Free (with option to buy the books)
Sponsored by The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation Authors’ Series, honoring Theodore and Caroline Newhouse and Susan Newhouse