A striking collection of essays from the prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Should We Stay or Should We Go, So Much for That, and The Post-Birthday World.
Novelist, cultural observer, and social satirist Lionel Shriver is among the sharpest talents of our age. A writer who embraces “under-expressed, unpopular or downright dangerous” points of view, she filets cherished shibboleths and the conformity of thought and attitude that has overtaken us.
Bringing together thirty-five works curated from her many columns, features, essays, and op-eds for the likes of the Spectator, the Guardian, the New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, speeches and reviews, and some unpublished pieces, Abominations reveals Shriver at her most iconoclastic and personal. Relentlessly skeptical, cutting, and contrarian, this collection showcases Shriver’s piquant opinions on a wide range of topics, including religion, politics, illness, mortality, family and friends, tennis, gender, immigration, consumerism, health care, and taxes.
In her characteristically frank manner, Shriver shrewdly skewers the concept of language “crimes,” while chafing at arbitrary limitations on speech and literature that crimp artistic expression and threaten intellectual freedom. Each essay in Abominations reflects sentiments that have “brought hell and damnation down on my head,” as she cheerfully explains, and have threatened her with “cancellation” more than once.
Throughout, Shriver offers insights on her novels and explores the perks and pitfalls of becoming a successful artist. In revisiting old pieces and rejected essays, Shriver updates and expands her thinking. “Enlightened” progressive readers will find plenty to challenge here. But they may find, to their surprise, insights with which they agree.
A timely synthesis of Shriver's expansive work, Abominations reveals this provocative, talented writer at her most assured.