Law and Conversation

September 7, 2010

More on Lionel Shriver–and health care

Filed under: Books and writing,health care,Law,Read This!,reading — Helen Gunnarsson @ 12:01 am
Tags: , ,

Yesterday I recommended Lionel Shriver’s novel, “The Post-Birthday World,” as part of my Read This! campaign.  But Shriver’s better known for her earlier, Orange Prize-winning novel, “We Need To Talk About Kevin.”

I hadn’t planned to read “Kevin,” despite its award and the generous praise it’s garnered, because of its subject matter, which includes a Columbine-like school massacre.  But when I picked it up to browse at the bookstore one day, the first page pulled me in immediately, through the voice of a mother who never bonded with and frankly dislikes her extraordinarily difficult child.

In her newest novel, “So Much For That,” Shriver criticizes the U.S. health care system.  The book was published on the eve of the passage of the federal law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that’s supposed to improve it; in interviews, Shriver questions whether it will do so, asking “Can we continue to lavish this much money on what is really end-of-life care?” 

The new law probably doesn’t provide a definitive answer to Shriver’s question.  Quoting Springfield, IL lawyer Charles Y. Davis, I highlight (necessarily incredibly briefly) a couple of points from the 974-page statute to which businesses and lawyers will need to pay particular attention in the forthcoming issue of the Illinois Bar Journal for October 2010.

 Have you ever decided to read a book that initially repelled you?  If so, did you end up liking it, or were you sorry you’d spent your time on it?

Blog at