Getting published hasn’t always been easy for Lionel Shriver. Witness the publication story of We Need to Talk About Kevin, which was rejected by several publishers before being picked up by a small press in the UK (and the US). It went on to become a word-of-mouth hit, and, later, an acclaimed film. Her next two books were also bestsellers.
I’m something of a Shriver evangelist, so I couldn’t be more pleased to hear that while she’s putting the finishing touches on her current project*, a novel she wrote in 1998 will finally see the light of day on March 27, 2012. Seems that publishing three bestsellers in a row gives you a little more leeway when it comes to choosing difficult material as your subject.
As Shriver told the website Culture, The New Republic deals with terrorism “on a peninsula in Portugal which doesn’t exist—I drew it onto the map. I wrote it in 1998 and at that time I had trouble getting American publishers interested in the manuscript—none of them were interested in terrorism until after 9/11. . . . Now in some ways the US cares too much about terrorism and for a long time I felt it would be wrong to publish something that has a sense of humour about the issue. Enough time has gone by for a droll novel to be well received.”
Any other Shriver fans out there excited for this one? I bet she’s glad it doesn’t have a girly cover.
* a novel about a woman who puts her marriage on the line by helping her overweight brother—an issue that Shriver has dealt with herself.