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Cover Art for 9780008658687, Mania by Lionel Shriver
ISBN: 9780008658687
Publisher: Hemlock Press GB
Published: 17 April, 2024 , in 4 days
Format: Paperback
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Set in a parallel yet all too familiar near past, a brilliant subversive novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author about a lifelong friendship threatened by the Culture Wars The year is 2011, but not the 2011 we know. The Mental Parity movement has taken hold and Americans now embrace the sacred, universal truth that there is no such thing as variable human intelligence. Because everyone is equally smart, discrimination against purportedly dumb people is ‘the last great civil rights fight.' Tests, grades, and employment qualifications are all discarded; smart phones are rebranded. Children are expelled for saying the S-word (“stupid”) and encouraged to report parents who use it at home. Pearson and Emory, who have been best friends since childhood, find themselves on opposite sides of a widening chasm of opinion: Pearson believes the whole thing is ludicrous, but as a radio personality Emory chooses to go with the flow of popular thought and is soon making increasingly hardline statements to that effect. As the friendship fractures, Pearson's insistence on the ‘old way' of thinking endangers her job, her safety and even her family. Can the balance ever be reset? Lionel Shriver turns her piercing gaze on the policing of opinion and intellect, and imagines a world – perhaps not too far removed from our own – in which meritocracy is heresy. Hilarious, deadpan and at times frighteningly plausible, MANIA will delight her many fans – this is a thought-provoking and scathing novel with a lot to say about modern life.

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