Author of We Need To Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver joins us to discuss her latest novel, Should We Stay or Should We Go.
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Determined to die with dignity, Cyril makes a modest proposal: he and his wife should agree to commit suicide together once they’ve both turned eighty. When their deal is sealed in 1991, the spouses are blithely looking forward to another three decades together.
But then they turn eighty.
By turns hilarious and touching, playful and grave, Should We Stay or Should We Go portrays twelve parallel universes, each exploring a possible future for Kay and Cyril, from a purgatorial Cuckoo’s-Nest-style retirement home to the discovery of a cure for ageing, from cryogenic preservation to the unexpected pleasures of dementia.
Weaving in a host of contemporary issues – Brexit, mass migration, the coronavirus – Lionel Shriver has pulled off a rollicking page-turner in which we never have to mourn deceased characters, because they’ll be alive and kicking in the very next chapter.