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Summary

The first novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk about Kevin is a compelling and provocative story of love and how we suffer for it.

Still unattached and childless at 59, 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 young graduate assistant Raphael Sarasola arrives on the scene, Gray is captivated and falls hopelessly in love - before an amazed Errol's eyes. As he follows their affair with jealous fascination, Errol watches helplessly from the sidelines as a proud and fierce woman is reduced to miserable dependence.

©1987 Lionel Shriver (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

''Terrific - a provocative tale of devotion, suffering, and other familiar accoutrements of love.'' ( People)
''One of the most magnetically compelling writers working today. Witty, caustic and worldly.'' ( Wall Street Journal)
''A brilliant writer. She has a strong, clear and strangely seductive voice. The characters are strong...so moving it will make you want to gasp or cry.'' ( Sunday Times)
''Shriver is an incisive social satirist with a clear grip on the ironies of our contemporary age.'' ( LA Times)

What listeners say about The Female of the Species

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A rambling emotive story

I thoroughly enjoyed especially after realizing it was a first novel. humorous and ripe with nascent wisdom.

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