Writers on the Record Featuring Lionel Shriver

On Thursday night I made my way to Harold Washington Library, a gorgeous library by the way, to hear one of my favorite authors, Lionel Shriver, speak. She was interviewed by Victoria Lautman who does a radio show called Writers on the Record. The audience got to hear the live taping of this show.

Lionel was pretty similar to how I imagined her to be. Extremely witty and brutally honest. Plus, she was wearing some kick ass red boots that I loved! Victoria described her as a “smartypants” which she took as a great compliment!

The majority of the interview was spent talking about Shriver’s new release, So Much For That. This is a novel that deals with sickness, how it affects families, and the role the American Health Care System plays in it all. I found it interesting to learn that Shriver wrote this book due to personal experience with a best friend who suffered from mesothelioma, the same sickness a main character in the book suffers from.  She did two readings from the book, talked about where the ideas came from, and about the characters reactions in the story. It was really interesting to hear the back story before actually reading the book.

One point she wanted to get across in the book is the role that health care now plays in our lives and affects our decisions. I can relate. My dream is to own an independent book store one day and be self employed, but needing health care as badly as I do makes that dream seem unrealistic.

She also talked a little bit about past books such as We Need To Talk About Kevin and The Post-Birthday World. She confirmed that We Need To Talk about Kevin is officially being made into a MOVIE staring John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton! I’ll definitely be curious to see that one. She admited that she is married to a man very similar to “Ramsey” in The Post-Birthday World, although Ramsey played Snooker while her husband plays jazz drums. She also said that she is not working on another book at the moment, but the next topic she hopes to tackle is immigration.

Just a quick reminder to everyone that the giveaway for Cutting for Stoneends March 21st, so don’t forget to enter HERE.

The hour long interview was very entertaining and often times extremely funny. It was the first author talk I’ve heard in a very long time and it made me want to go to more! I ended up buying So Much For That and got it signed. My other reading plans will be put on hold til I read this one!

This interview will be accessible as a podcast on Victoria Lautman’s Website. She has interviewed a number of distinguished authors for her Writers on the Record Series which is in its last season. Audrey Niffenegger, Elizabeth Strout, Augusten Burroughs, and Ann Packer are just a few examples. Go have a listen!

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10 Responses

  1. I adore author talks. We Need to Talk…just typing the title makes my heart do a nosedive. Beautifully written…excruciatingly painful. I’ve never gotten around to Post-Birthday and I actually have two copies (long story). Nice to hear she’s got a new book out.

  2. I can’t listen to the interview until tomorrow – it doesn’t post until after the airing (which is later today).

    The timing is perfect – we are discussing a Shriver title on That’s how I blog Tuesday evening.

    I’m jealous that you had a chance to listen, meet and get your book signed! Authors do not travel to Omaha…

  3. What a wonderful experience! I am jealous! I haven’t read any of her books yet but I’ll have to add one of them to my list!

  4. Glad you had such a good time! I’ve heard so many good things about her writing, and even own some of her books, but haven’t read them yet. I’ll be reading The Post Birthday World for my BlogTalk Radio interview in May, and I’m really looking forward to reading it because everyone seems to love it so much.

  5. I am very surprised to see that Kevin is being made into a movie. I can’t see that working at all. I’m sure I’ll still watch it, but I can’t see it being anywhere near as good as the book.

  6. I have to keep reminding myself that Lionel Shriver is not a man. I loved “The Post-Birthday World” but am shying away from “We Have to Talk About Kevin” because of the subject matter.

  7. oh, Tilda Swinton is a perfect casting! I am sad, tho, that I already know the ending of Kevin. What a book.

  8. Kevin will make an interesting movie–very curious as to how it will be told. will def. pick up a copy of P-BW.

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