The Post-Birthday World

By Lionel Shriver,

Book cover of The Post-Birthday World

Book description

From the Orange Prize winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, this is the novel Lionel Shriver wrote directly afterwards. The Post-Birthday World is an unflinching account of the choices that unfold before us and what our decisions really mean.

Irina McGovern's destiny hinges on a single kiss.…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Post-Birthday World as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Such a powerful book! It's all about the danger of failing to choose, but presented in such a way that the lesson seeps in slowly. Perhaps an ultimate example of "show, don't tell."

I first read it during a difficult season in life where I too felt like I was facing two mutually exclusive options. Each of them foretold a loss and made me sad to contemplate the absence of the other. I then went back to the book a few years later for a second reading and found it just as powerful but less sad—perhaps because I'd improved in…

We all have our own private "what if" moments and personal alternate histories. The party invites we wisely declined, the job offer we foolishly accepted, and—above all, I suspect for many of us—the person we did or didn't kiss. Irina, a successful book illustrator in a long-term relationship with a caring if somewhat boring Lawrence, faces such a crossroads when she encounters the laddish but glamorous professional snooker player Ramsey. Which way does she go? The answer, through the book's following alternate chapters, is both. We get to examine the trails, tribulations, and excitements that run through these alternate relationships…

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