We Need To Talk About Kevin: A Novel

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We Need To Talk About Kevin: A Novel

by Lionel Shriver

April 6, 2003 | Hardcover

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That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child''s character is self-evident. But such generalizations provide cold comfort when it''s your own son who''s just opened fire on his fellow students and whose class photograph--with its unseemly grin--is blown up on the national news. The question of who''s to blame for teenage atrocity tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years ago, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker, and a popular algebra teacher. Because he was only fifteen at the time of the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is now in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York. Telling the story of Kevin''s upbringing, Eva addresses herself to her estranged husband through a series of letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? We Need to Talk About Kevin offers no pat explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents--whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton--have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in suburban comfort. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing these horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy--the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.

Format: Hardcover

Published: April 6, 2003

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1582432678

ISBN - 13: 9781582432670

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– More About This Product –

We Need To Talk About Kevin: A Novel

by Lionel Shriver

Format: Hardcover

Published: April 6, 2003

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1582432678

ISBN - 13: 9781582432670

From the Publisher

That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child''s character is self-evident. But such generalizations provide cold comfort when it''s your own son who''s just opened fire on his fellow students and whose class photograph--with its unseemly grin--is blown up on the national news. The question of who''s to blame for teenage atrocity tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years ago, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker, and a popular algebra teacher. Because he was only fifteen at the time of the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is now in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York. Telling the story of Kevin''s upbringing, Eva addresses herself to her estranged husband through a series of letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? We Need to Talk About Kevin offers no pat explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents--whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton--have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in suburban comfort. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing these horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy--the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.

About the Author

Lionel Shriver is the author of seven novels, and has written extensively for the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Economist. She lives in London and New York.
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