Big Brother: Borough edition

By Lionel Shriver


‘A gutsy, heartfelt novel’ Sunday Times

‘[Shriver’s] best novel yet’ Independent on Sunday

When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at her local Iowa airport, she literally doesn’t recognize him. The once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened?

Soon Edison’s slovenly habits, appalling diet, and know-it-all monologues are driving Pandora and her fitness-freak husband Fletcher insane. After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: it’s him or me.

Rich with Shriver’s distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat: why we overeat and whether extreme diets ever really work. It asks just how much sacrifice we’ll make to save single members of our families, and whether it’s ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.


‘A surprising sledgehammer of a novel’ The Times

‘Shriver is brilliant on the novel shock that is hunger… glorious, fearless, almost fanatically hard-working prose’ Guardian

‘Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother has the muscle to overpower its readers. It is a conversation piece of impressive heft’ New York Times

‘Shriver is wonderful at the things she is always wonderful at. Pace and plot… . Psychology’ Independent

‘The latest compelling, humane and bleakly comic novel from the author of We Need to Talk about KevinEvening Standard

‘Her best work… presents characters so fully formed that they inhabit her ideas rather than trumpet them’ New Republic

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 06 Jun 2024
Pages: 384
ISBN: 978-0-00-869652-8
Detailed Edition: Borough edition
Lionel Shriver’s novels include the National Book Award finalist So Much for That, the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World, and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian and the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many other publications. She lives in London and Brooklyn, New York.

Praise for Big Brother: -

”'Big Brother is brilliant, very different from Kevin but equally compelling. A great tale of a challenging modern problem and the power of sibling devotion” - Dawn O’Porter

‘Glorious, fearless, almost fanatically hard-working prose. Nothing here feels half-hearted or accidental. There is so much to revel and enjoy…and the result is writing of a beauty and character that is lamentably missing from so much literary fiction’GUARDIAN -

‘Her best novel yet…who would have thought that a novel about a diet could be so moving, and so suspenseful?’INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY -

‘Shriver is wonderful at the things she is always wonderful at’INDEPENDENT -

”'Shriver is a brilliant writer. She has a strong, clear and strangely seductive voice. The characters are strong. The tensions - and hope, and disappointments, and struggles - are well done . . . so moving it will make you want to gasp or cry” - SUNDAY TIMES

‘From the start I was gripped by its story. Once again, Shriver has provided much food for thought’DAILY MAIL -

”'Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother has the muscle to overpower its readers. It is a conversation piece of impressive heft” - THE NEW YORK TIMES

”'Piercingly bleak in tone and formally original in execution. It takes the reader by surprise, reminding us, not a moment too soon, that Shriver is a novelist as well as a polemicist. The push-and-pull of a marriage is something that Shriver continues to write exceptionally well. Shriver turns the story on its head and brings a novelist’s panache to the true-life tale” - DAILY TELEGRAPH

‘Big Brother finds the funny - and the pathos - in fat’USA TODAY -