The Female of the Species

The Female of the Species

3.5 2
by Lionel Shriver, Fred Stella
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Still unattached and childless at fifty-nine, world-renowned anthropologist Gray Kaiser is seemingly invincible – and untouchable. Returning to make a documentary at the site of her first great triumph in Kenya, she is accompanied by her faithful middle-aged assistant, Errol McEchern, who has loved her for years in silence. When sexy young graduate assistant… See more details below

Overview

Still unattached and childless at fifty-nine, world-renowned anthropologist Gray Kaiser is seemingly invincible – and untouchable. Returning to make a documentary at the site of her first great triumph in Kenya, she is accompanied by her faithful middle-aged assistant, Errol McEchern, who has loved her for years in silence. When sexy young graduate assistant Raphael Sarasola arrives on the scene, Gray is captivated and falls hopelessly in love – before an amazed and injured Errol’s eyes. As he follows the progress of their affair with jealous fascination, Errol watches helplessly from the sidelines as a proud and fierce woman is reduced to miserable dependence through subtle, cruel, and calculating manipulation.

“Exotic and inventive. . . . It is hard not to admire the breadth and consistency of Lionel Shriver’s inventiveness and the exuberance of her imagination.” – New York Times Book Review

“Lionel Shriver is a vastly talented writer. . . . This book deserves to be read.” – Kansas City Star

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Structured in a circular way, beginning and ending on Gray Kaiser's 60th birthday, this novel gathers momentum as it goes. Gray, a preeminent anthropologist living in Boston, famous for her studies of matriarchal societies in Africa, is a majestic, independent woman. In her late middle age, she falls in love for the first time with a cruel, much younger man, Raphael Sarasola, who is obviously using her for her money and connections. Errol McEchern, the long-time associate who has pined for Gray for years, subjugating his own needs to be with her, narrates the drama while, simultaneously, being deeply involved in it. What he does not witness, he invents; he relates Gray's first expedition to Africa, where she met Charles Corgie, Raphael's predecessor, as well as the story of Raphael's adolescence living in an abandoned factory in North Adams. As Gray transforms before Errol's eyes from a vibrant, brilliant scholar to a helpless, lovestruck victim, Errol begins to get glimmers of insight into his own failings and inability to extricate himself from the destructive triangle. The quality and vividness of Errol's imagination is a tribute to Shriver's own; the pieces fall neatly and compellingly into place. This is a confident first novel and a consuming one. (April)
Library Journal
Gray Kaiser is a renowned anthropologist whose career took off when she discovered a remote African village lorded over by white man Corgie, whose plane crash had convinced the locals that he was a god. Now 59, Gray returns to Il-Ororen to make a film of the village as it was, with the help of her 40-ish assistant Errol. Their lives become entangled with Raphael, the 25-year-old grad student whose uncanny resemblance to Corgie makes him the star of the film and eventually Gray's first lover. This is a remarkable book: it is at once full of very predictable plot turns, yet compelling to read; the three main characters are often cliched and transparent, yet they are striking, original, memorable characters. Fascinating and warmly recommended, though perhaps not for those whose taste runs to sophisticated fiction. Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
Philadelphia Inquirer
"Stunning . . . wide in its horizons, interesting in its insights, and satisfying in its conclusions."
People
“Terrific—a provocative tale of devotion, suffering, and other familiar accountrements of love.”
Kansas City Star
"Lionel Shriver is a vastly talented writer...This book deserves to be read."
People Magazine
"Terrific—a provocative tale of devotion, suffering, and other familiar accountrements of love."

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781480543263
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
08/01/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >