The absorbing, stunningly accomplished novel that provoked and astounded in equal measure, Shriver’s devastating narrative of a mother trying to come to terms with her son’s murderous rampage is one of the most singular achievements of twenty-first century fiction.
Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2010
Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of a boy named Kevin who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who had tried to befriend him.
Now, two years after her son's horrific rampage, Eva comes to terms with her role as Kevin's mother in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband Franklyn about their son's upbringing. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about motherhood. How much is her fault?
In Lionel Shriver's hands this sensational, chilling and memorable story of a woman who raised a monster becomes a metaphor for the larger tragedy - the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 204 x 128 x 36 mm
Edition: Main - Classic edition
'Once in a while, a stunningly powerful novel comes along, knocks you sideways and takes your breath away: this is it ... a horrifying, original, witty, brave and deliberately provocative investigation into all the casual assumptions we make about family life, and motherhood in particular.' - Daily Mail
'This startling shocker strips bare motherhood... the most remarkable Orange prize victor so far.' - Polly Toynbee, Guardian
'An awesomely smart, stylish and pitiless achievement. Franz Kafka wrote that a book should be the ice-pick that breaks open the frozen seas inside us, because the books that make us happy we could have written ourselves. With We Need to Talk About Kevin, Shriver has wielded Kafka's axe with devastating force.' - Independent
'One of the most striking works of fiction to be published this year. It is Desperate Housewives as written by Euripides... A powerful, gripping and original meditation on evil.' - New Statesman
'Shriver keeps up an almost unbearable suspense. It's hard to imagine a more striking demolition job on the American myth of the perfect suburban family.' - Sunday Telegraph
'One of the bravest books I've ever read... We Need to Talk About Kevin is an original, powerful, resonant, witty, fascinating and deeply intelligent work.' - Sunday Business Post
'A study of despair, a book of ideas and a deconstruction of modern American morality.' - David Baddiel, The Times
'This superb, many-layered novel intelligently weighs the culpability of parental nurture against the nightmarish possibilities of an innately evil child.' - Daily Telegraph
'Urgent, unblinking and articulate.' - Sunday Times
'[A] powerful, painful novel... There are true, terrible things said here about family life.' - Saga Magazine
'A fierce challenge of a novel that forces the reader to confront assumptions about love and parenting, about how and why we apportion blame, about crime and punishment, forgiveness and redemption and, perhaps most significantly, about how we can manage when the answer to the question why? is either too complex for human comprehension, or simply non-existent.' - Independent
'Pitch-perfect, devastating and utterly convincing.' - Geoff Dyer
'One of my favourite novels... the best thing I've read in years.' - Jeremy Vine
'We Need to Talk About Kevin is not a treatise on crime prevention but a meditation on motherhood, and a terribly honest one.' - Wall Street Journal
'What an amazing piece of storytelling. I could not put the book down.' - Shirley Henderson, Daily Express
'One of the most powerful books I've read... brilliant.' - Boy George, Elle
'An original and startling story of family life. A brilliant and thought-provoking read.' - Jackie Brown, Woman's Own
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