US edition of the world's oldest magazine

Lionel Shriver

Books

When diversity means uniformity

I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague’s forwarded email has set me straight. Sent to a literary agent, presumably this letter was also fired off to the agents of the entire Penguin Random House stable. The […]

By Lionel Shriver

Art

I like a fight too much. That’s why I’ll never go on social media

Twitter outrage about a few sectarian mugs has left Lionel Shriver glad to be in her fantasy world offline

By Lionel Shriver

Home

Why catastrophising is my idea of a good time

When, on a test of general knowledge, the highly educated score far worse than chimpanzees, university degrees may be overrated (definitely). But something more interesting may also be going on. According to the newly released Factfulness by Hans Rosling, we would-be smart people would improve our results on multiple-choice questions about the current state of […]

By Lionel Shriver

Art

Can you prove you’re not a racist?

These days throwing insults often just means ‘I disagree with you’

By Lionel Shriver

The all give and no take of US taxes

Last week, the New York Times ran a very un-New-York-Times-y article, ‘Resentment Grows Over Who Gets Health Care Aid’. It contrasts two women in New Hampshire. Married with one child at 30, last year Gwen Hurd paid more than $11,000 for her family’s health insurance, purchased through the Affordable Care Act exchange. They had to […]

By Lionel Shriver

Why not ban artists who forget to feed their cats or recycle?

Sometimes a picture — the big picture — is worth more than a thousand words. Consider this Art vs Artist, Part II. As #MeToo rolls inexorably on, the movement has scored another casualty, the wheelchair-bound, 77-year-old Chuck Close, whose reputation as a photo-realist had until last month been as immense as his paintings. Two women […]

By Lionel Shriver

Home

Ikea’s real genius is making furniture disposable

We love it when things fall apart. It’s an excuse to go shopping

By Lionel Shriver

The lie that is recycling

So much of what we carefully separate just ends up wasting energy

By Lionel Shriver

We don’t need to talk about gun control. After the horror of Vegas, we need to be dumbstruck

To my embarrassment, ever since my novel We Need to Talk About Kevin was published in 2003, I’ve been a go-to girl regarding American mass murders. I’m embarrassed because my credentials are so poor — I’m only an expert on a school killer I made up — and because I’ve so little to say. That’s […]

By Lionel Shriver

Tear down statues? At this rate, we’ll have to rename New York

Growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina, I took the monuments around the state capitol for granted. The first Confederate soldier killed in the Civil War, Henry Lawson Wyatt, has leaned into the wind on those grounds for 100 years. Atop a pedestal inscribed, ‘To North Carolina women of the Confederacy’, a mother in billowing skirts […]

By Lionel Shriver

more writers

Stay informed

Thought-provoking commentary and opinion on politics, books and the arts.

Web-only content Copyright © 2022 The Spectator // Magazine content Copyright © 2022 The Spectator