This week on The Book Show we talk to American writer Lionel Shriver who is well known for her novel We Need To Talk About Kevin – a chilling depiction of a young child who murders nine people at his high school. It won her the 2005 Orange Prize.
Her latest book, The Mandibles, A Family 2029-2047 (The Borough Press) is a biography of a family set in the near future. That future is bleak and is set in an America which is in financial meltdown. If that sounds like science fiction, it isn't. The book is topical, perceptive and often very funny. As Lionel Shriver tells Sinéad Gleeson, it's a book primarily about family life.
Philip Hensher is a novelist and a critic who has written numerous collections of short stories as well as novels and a book about the lost art of handwriting.
Recently he edited an ambitious two volume short story collection, The Penguin Book of the British Short Story. It brings us from Daniel Defoe to the present day and, as is often the case with these collections, it attracted as much attention for what it excluded as it did for what it included.
Philip talks to Sinéad about the decisions he made and his research methods – which basically meant he read everything!
Kei Miller is a Jamiacan poet who published his first book of poems in 2006. He has won many prizes for his writing including the 2014 Forward Prize for Poetry, for his collection, The Cartographer Tries to Map A Way to Zion
Kei reads from this collection and brings us to Jamaica, to Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 which had an astonishing effect on the satellite dishes. He tells us about Jamaican rhythm and meter and even sings a little Bob Marley for us.
The Book Show is breaking for the summer and will return in September.
The Book Show, presented by Sinead Gleeson, is where we get to know a bit more about the books you love and talk about what you could be reading over the next few months.
Writers and publishers will talk stories, books and the world of writing and we’ll have readings, reports and regular items. The Book Show will bring you the best in international and Irish authors, with weekly discussions, interviews, features and literary trivia.
Sinead Gleeson Photo credit: Annie Atkins
Presenter: Sinead Gleeson