Property: Book summary and reviews of Property by Lionel Shriver

Property

Stories Between Two Novellas

by Lionel Shriver

Property by Lionel Shriver X
Property by Lionel Shriver
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2018
    336 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

A striking new collection of ten short stories and two novellas that explores the idea of property in every meaning of the word.

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 fiancée - only to discover that the jealous fiancée 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 célèbre. 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Shriver's stories will make readers laugh when they feel they shouldn't, and the uniting theme of houses and humans works exceedingly well, turning up new wrinkles with each successive story." - Publishers Weekly

"Award-winning Shriver's enthusiastic audience will delight in her clever and literary analyses of the spaces we occupy, and how they're all too often no broader than a knife's edge." - Booklist

"Whether unlikable or likable yet behaving badly, Shriver's characters are complex and well drawn, and the pieces here are all engaging." - Library Journal

"Few writers are so committed to using fiction to explore the intimate impact of formal regulations and informal social engineering, but it remains a hit-and-miss project." - Kirkus

The information about Property shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Lionel Shriver Author Biography

Jerry Bauer

Journalist and author Lionel Shriver was born Margaret Ann Shriver in 1957 in North Carolina, USA. She changed her name to Lionel at the age of 15 because she wanted to distance herself from the "girl with the pink ribbons in her hair, who married her high-school sweetheart and became an apple-cheeked housewife" that she felt was implied by the name Margaret Ann and the expectations of her family.

She received a BA and MFA from Columbia University and, since then, has lived in Nairobi, Bangkok, Belfast (where she reported on the Troubles for 12 years) and London.

Her first novel, The Female of the Species, was published when she was 29 (1986), and was followed by Checker and the Derailleurs (1987), Ordinary Decent Criminals (1990), Game Control (1994), A ...

... Full Biography

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