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Lionel Shriver (born Margaret Ann Shriver, May 18 1957) is an Americanmarker journalist and author. She was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, into a deeply religious family - her father is a Presbyterian minister. She changed her name at the age of 15 from Margaret Ann to Lionel because she didn't like the name she had been given, and as a tomboy she felt that a conventionally male name fit her better. She was educated at Barnard Collegemarker, Columbia University (BA, MFA). She has lived in Nairobimarker, Bangkokmarker and Belfastmarker, and currently lives in Londonmarker.

Her journalistic experience included a spell working for The Economist.

She won the 2005 Orange Prize for her eighth published novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin, a thriller and close study of maternal ambivalence, and the role it might have played in the title character's decision to murder seven of his classmates with a bow and arrows. The book created a lot of controversy, and achieved success through word of mouth.

Her previous novels include The Female of the Species (1986), Checker and the Derailleurs (1987), Ordinary Decent Criminals (1990), Game Control (1994), A Perfectly Good Family (1996) and Double Fault (1997). Her ninth novel, The Post-Birthday World, was released in March 2007 by HarperCollins.

In July 2005, Shriver began writing a column [188311] for The Guardian, in which she has shared her opinions on maternal disposition within Western society, the pettiness of British government authorities, and the importance of libraries (she plans to will whatever assets remain at her death to the Belfast Library Board, out of whose libraries she checked so many books when she lived in Northern Ireland).

In 2009, she donated the short story Long Time, No See to Oxfam's 'Ox-Tales' project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the 'Fire' collection.

Shriver's newest book, So Much for That, will be released March 2, 2010.

She is married to jazz drummer Jeff Williams.



  1. Oxfam: Ox-Tales

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