The new novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin.
When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at her local Iowa airport, she literally doesn’t recognize him. The once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened?
Soon Edison’s slovenly habits, appalling diet, and know-it-all monologues are driving Pandora and her fitness-freak husband Fletcher insane. After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: it’s him or me.
Rich with Shriver’s distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat: why we overeat and whether extreme diets ever really work. It asks just how much sacrifice we’ll make to save single members of our families, and whether it’s ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.
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Praise for Big Brother:
‘Big Brother is brilliant, very different from Kevin but equally compelling. A great tale of a challenging modern problem and the power of sibling devotion’ Dawn O’Porter
‘Glorious, fearless, almost fanatically hard-working prose. Nothing here feels half-hearted or accidental. There is so much to revel and enjoy…and the result is writing of a beauty and character that is lamentably missing from so much literary fiction’
‘Her best novel yet…who would have thought that a novel about a diet could be so moving, and so suspenseful?’
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
‘Shriver is wonderful at the things she is always wonderful at’
‘Shriver is a brilliant writer. She has a strong, clear and strangely seductive voice. The characters are strong. The tensions – and hope, and disappointments, and struggles – are well done . . . so moving it will make you want to gasp or cry’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘From the start I was gripped by its story. Once again, Shriver has provided much food for thought’
‘Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother has the muscle to overpower its readers. It is a conversation piece of impressive heft’ THE NEW YORK TIMES
‘Piercingly bleak in tone and formally original in execution. It takes the reader by surprise, reminding us, not a moment too soon, that Shriver is a novelist as well as a polemicist. The push-and-pull of a marriage is something that Shriver continues to write exceptionally well. Shriver turns the story on its head and brings a novelist’s panache to the true-life tale’ DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘Big Brother finds the funny – and the pathos – in fat’
From the acclaimed author of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin comes an extraordinary novel about siblings, marriage, and obesity.
When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the Iowa airport, she doesn't recognize him. In the four years since she last saw him, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? And it's not just the weight. Edison breaks her husband Fletcher's handcrafted furniture, makes overkill breakfasts for the family, and entices her stepson not only to forgo college but to drop out of high school. After Edison has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: it's him or me. But which loyalty is paramount, that of a wife or a sister? For without Pandora's support, surely Edison will eat himself into an early grave.
Rich with Shriver's distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat--an issue both social and excruciatingly personal. It asks just how much we are obligated to help members of our families, and whether it's ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.
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