The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047
by Lionel Shriver
Terre de Lumiere Viognier
We’re thrilled to announce we’re returning to the Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival for another special A Book And A Bottle Salon this Autumn with the big-hearted bestselling Rachel Joyce – you can buy tickets here.
What to expect? A steady flow of fine wine and charming stories as we attempt to find a #NovelPairing with Rachel Joyce for her new novel The Music Shop.
We first popped-up at Cheltenham last year with Lionel Shriver who dances where other writers fear to tread. She is the author of the infamous ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’. You don’t pick up one of her novels expecting an easy read. Maybe you don’t expect it to be funny either but you’d be wrong because The Mandibles is unsettlingly hilarious – a combination few could pull off.
In summary, The Mandible family have been expecting to inherit a fortune from their grandfather, the cravatted and cultured Douglas, a famous literary agent. But in 2029 the dollar is devalued spectacularly – a cabbage soars to $20 and water is rationed. Mass unemployment, hyper-inflation and civil unrest are the backdrop for this increasingly prescient novel. It begins to look more and more like futurology rather than fiction!
“It’s crazy how real it’s all becoming,” said Shriver, at our special Salon. “But really, this is a family drama. And it’s all about class. Americans don’t think we have a class system but we do – The Mandibles are brought low but it’s not all bad.”
No wonder they could all do with a drink. Viognier is the choice tipple of Avery, a therapist, and Lowell, an economics professor fired for not predicting the crash.
“It’s a deliciously sly choice,” said Rebecca Palmer from Corney & Barrow who joined us on stage and who is busy devising the shortlist of wines for Joyce’s novel. “Just wine savvy enough, the wine version of Farrow & Ball to mark them out from Dulux Pinot Grigio. Wines from the Languedoc are famously good value and this Terre de Lumiere Viognier from organic vineyards is no exception.”
“I like big whites,” says Lionel and the audience at our Salon emptied their glasses swiftly. “I can’t believe this is under a tenner!” No wonder it was Lionel’s chosen #NovelPairing. A perfect toast to the end of the world as we know it! You can read the extensive bibulousography for The Mandibles here.
When we return to Cheltenham for another special A Book And A Bottle Salon this autumn our guest will be the brilliant Rachel Joyce. Expect a delicious hour of reading, wine-tasting and talking with the best-selling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Rachel will read from her fourth novel The Music Shop, which follows record-shop owner Frank, who has a talent for music therapy: from his great stack of vinyl he can find the very song to cure his customers of their emotional woes. Let’s see if Rebecca from Corney & Barrow can find the perfect match for this charming novel!