Mania

By Lionel Shriver

‘Seldom is a book as funny, important and timely … I was laughing out loud at the same time as my blood was running cold’ JOHN CLEESE

‘Viciously funny… an exhilarating satire’ THE TIMES

What if calling someone stupid was illegal?

In a reality not too distant from our own, where the so-called Mental Parity Movement has taken hold, the worst thing you can call someone is ‘stupid’.

Everyone is equally clever, and discrimination based on intelligence is ‘the last great civil rights fight’.

Exams and grades are all discarded, and smart phones are rebranded. Children are expelled for saying the S-word and encouraged to report parents for using it. You don’t need a qualification to be a doctor.

Best friends since adolescence, Pearson and Emory find themselves on opposing sides of this new culture war. Radio personality Emory – who has built her career riding the tide of popular thought – makes increasingly hard-line statements while, for her part, Pearson believes the whole thing is ludicrous.

As their friendship fractures, Pearson’s determination to cling onto the ‘old, bigoted way of thinking’ begins to endanger her job, her safety and even her family.

Lionel Shriver turns her piercing gaze on the policing of opinion and intellect, and imagines a world in which intellectual meritocracy is heresy. Hilarious, deadpan, scathing and at times frighteningly plausible, MANIA will delight the many fans of her fiction and journalism alike.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 11 Apr 2024
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0-00-865867-0
Although LIONEL SHRIVER has published many novels, a collection of essays, and a column in the Spectator since 2017, and her journalism has featured in publications including the Guardian, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, she in no way wishes for the inclusion of this information to imply that she is more ‘intelligent’ or ‘accomplished’ than anyone else. The outdated meritocracy of intellectual achievement has made her a bestseller multiple times and accorded her awards including the Orange Prize, but she accepts that all of these accidental accolades are basically meaningless. She lives in Portugal and Brooklyn, New York.

'Seldom is a book as funny, important and timely … I was laughing out loud at the same time as my blood was running cold' JOHN CLEESE -

”'Viciously funny… an exhilarating satire” - THE TIMES

'An uproarious tale of holier-than-thou posturing' MAIL ON SUNDAY -

‘Never shy of getting stuck in, Shriver now sets her satirical sights on groupthink and the policing of thought' FINANCIAL TIMES, Book of 2024 -

'Merciless and funny… a welcome distraction' ECONOMIST -

'Provocative, stimulating and outrageous' SPECTATOR -

'A savage dystopian satire' THE SCOTSMAN -

'A superb satirical novelist… Mania is one of her best….very funny, occasionally offensive and, yes, smart' WASHINGTON POST -

'[Shriver] still knows how to poke the bear. In this case, the bear is us' BOSTON GLOBE -

'Readers craving sharp social commentary need look no further than Shriver, who is at the top of her game with this scary-smart and scathing satire' BOOKLIST -

Praise for Lionel Shriver: -

”'Shriver’s novels are wonderful… fun, smart and… unlike anything else you’ll read” - Financial Times

”'Hilarious… Fiery phrases spit and crackle” - Sunday Times

”'Wickedly witty” - Spectator

”'An independent mind and a sense of humour are dangerous things to possess. The spiky, politically incorrect novelist Lionel Shriver has them in abundance” - The Times