Lionel Shriver in Person

Last week I went with my friend Becca to see Lionel Shriver, author of The Post-Birthday World, one of my favorite books of last year. I already knew Lionel was a woman, and I was not surprised that she was smart and funny in person. I’d assumed that she was English, since her bio says she lives in London and because she won The Orange Prize for her last novel. Yet when she began to speak, her accent was decidedly American, occasionally drawn out as from the South, though she certain words had the elongated sounds of London. She was born in North Carolina, and went to Columbia University. And she changed her name to Lionel at 15 just because she liked the sound of it and had never heard of it before.

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