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The Post-Birthday World
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The new novel from the Orange Prize winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin It all hinges on one kiss. Whether Irina McGovern does or does not lean in to a specific pair of lips in London will determine whether she stays with her disciplined, intellectual partner Lawrence or runs off with Ramsey, a hard-living snooker player. Using a parallel universe structure, we follow Irina's life as it unfolds under the influence of two drastically different men. Lawrence is Irina's partner of nearly ten years. Ramsey is the ex-husband of a sometime friend, a once-a-year acquaintance to whom Irina has never paid a great deal of attention. Where Lawrence is supportive and devoted; Ramsey is flighty and spontaneous. Lawrence is emotionally withdrawn to the point of repression; Ramsey is fiery and passionate, but volatile. The contrasts between the two men have ramifications for Irina's relationships with friends and family, for her career as an illustrator, and more importantly, for the texture of her daily life. This love is about trade-offs. Both men in Irina's dual future are worthy of her affection but deeply flawed. The answer is that there is no perfect answer: one of the things that draws us to our mates is what is wrong with them. The Post-Birthday World is written with all the subtlety, perceptiveness and drama that made We Need to Talk About Kevin an international bestseller. Key title / We Need to Talk About Kevin has sold over 500,000 copies in the UK alone since publication in May 2006 / Lionel Shriver is a high-profile journalist who contributes regularly to national newspapers and magazines / Nationwide reviews guaranteed for this title

About the Author

Lionel Shriver is a writer and journalist. She lives in London and New York. She won the Orange Prize in 2005 for her acclaimed novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Reviews

Will London-based American expatriate Irena remain with stalwart partner Lawrence or run off with their wild friend Ramsey, a celebrated snooker player? Shriver considers both alternatives. With a five-city tour; reading group guide. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Praise for The Post-Birthday World: 'Those of us who rave about the dash and dare of Lionel Shriver's fiction can rejoice that The Post-Birthday World, a 'Sliding Doors'-style joint tale of alternative loves and lives, will garner the attention she always deserves' Independent 'Shriver gives us another passionate novel!Like Sliding Doors, the tale splits into two, following the dramatic turns of each choice. Brilliant' Cosmopolitan 'It's another domestic drama with a compelling twist!the power struggle between the sexes is spot-on. Shriver chalks her narrative cue with relish and, once the story gets underway, it's hard to take your eyes off the green baize' Tatler "The Post-Birthday World' is Lionel Shriver's forthcoming work about the dilemmas of love -- a must if you were gripped by 'We Need To Talk About Kevin" Harper's Bazaar

The smallest details of staid coupledom duel it out with a lusty alternate reality that begins when a woman passes up an opportunity to cheat on her longtime boyfriend in Shriver's latest (after the Orange Prize-winning We Need to Talk About Kevin). Irina McGovern, a children's book illustrator in London, lives in comfortable familiarity with husband-in-everything-but-marriage-certificate Lawrence Trainer, and every summer the two have dinner with their friend, the professional snooker player Ramsey Acton, to celebrate Ramsey's birthday. One year, following Ramsey's divorce and while terrorism specialist "think tank wonk" Lawrence is in Sarajevo on business, Irina and Ramsey have dinner, and after cocktails and a spot of hash, Irina is tempted to kiss Ramsey. From this near-smooch, Shriver leads readers on a two-pronged narrative: one consisting of what Irina imagines would have happened if she had given in to temptation, the other showing Irina staying with Lawrence while fantasizing about Ramsey. With Jamesian patience, Shriver explores snooker tournaments and terrorism conferences, passionate lovemaking and passionless sex, and teases out her themes of ambition, self-recrimination and longing. The result is an impressive if exhausting novel. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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