LIONEL SHRIVER (HARPERCOLLINS, $ 32.99) We need to talk about Lionel Shriver’s newest book, the American-born, Uk-based novelist’s first collection of short stories. As the title suggests, the theme is property – not just the bricks-and-mortar kind, but the way we live and the stuff we fill our homes with. In Shriver’s world, the places, objects and people we possess often end up possessing us, and the bestselling author uses the dozen stories to prod the bruise of our accumulative society.
I don’t have space here to dissect each story but the opening tale, “The Standing Chandelier”, which details the relationship dynamics of a woman loathed by other women, is Shriver at her acerbic best. The finest thing I’ve read so far this year. SHARON STEPHENSON