Paperbacks: The Post- Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver

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The Independent Culture

We've talked about Kevin; now we need to talk about Lawrence and Ramsey. In Shriver's eighth novel, London-based New Yorker, Irina McGovern, is torn between two men: her kind, reliable partner, Lawrence; and Ramsey: a predatory celebrity snooker player. In a novel that divides into two narratives after Irina finds herself poised on the brink of an adulterous kiss, Shriver explores the implications (both professional and personal) of Irina's decision. It's a pitch-perfect novel – aside from Ramsey's misjudged mockney – and a ballsy account of female desire. A book club favourite: you can see why.