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 a proxies for ourselves, and how tussles over ownership articulate the power dynamics of our relationships. In 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 fiancee-only to discover that the jealous fiancee 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 celèbre. 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 couples purchase of a ramshackle house destroys their once passionate relationship. In The Subletter, two women, both foreign conflict junkies, fight over 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.
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Harper, April 2018
Product Dimensions: 9 L × 6 W × 1.1 H
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