Mania by Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver turns her piercing gaze on the policing of opinion and intellect, and imagines a world in which intellectual meritocracy is heresy…

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.

Hilarious, deadpan, scathing and at times frighteningly plausible, Mania will delight the many fans of Shriver’s fiction and journalism alike.

11 Apr 2024 | HB | 9780008658670 | £22

If you’re an independent bookseller in the UK or Ireland and you’d like an advance reading copy of Mania send your request, along with your name and bookshop address, to the IndieThinking team on independentthinking@harpercollins.co.uk

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