KUCI Fund Drive

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Lionel Shriver on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

"Lionel Shriver’s contrarianism has made her famous, but fiction is what she believes changes minds,” said the New Yorker last year. Since her 2003 breakout novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin (later turned into the 2011 film starring Tilda Swinton), Shriver has pushed people’s political buttons. She’s a pro-Brexit, anti-woke, #MeToo-skeptical Democrat who eats one meal a day, dislikes babies, and refuses the comforts of either heat or air conditioning.


Her novels have tackled tricky American issues such as school shootings, an ongoing healthcare crisis, morbid obesity, and the widening wealth gap. Her latest novel, Should We Stay or Should We Go, confronts aging and western civilization’s obsession with immortality. Kay and Cyril, a couple not keen on facing the indignities of growing old, made a middle-aged suicide pact to occur on Kay’s 80th birthday, which happens in March of 2020. What will they decide when the day arrives? Shriver explores every last possibility.


She joins Marrie Stone to talk about the book, writing contemporaneously with the pandemic, and constructing a novel with several diverse outcomes. They have a candid discussion about aging, death, suicide, and the ethics of behind every decision along the road to the bitter end. 


Download audio.

Broadcast date: June 9, 2021

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