Lionel Shriver – feet first into controversies



Author and journalist Lionel Shriver – We Need to Talk about Kevin – has stirred up a storm by criticising Penguin Random House’s intention to diversify the authors that it published. She argued it would prioritise diversity over quality and mean that a manuscript “written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven” would be published “whether or not said manuscript is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed-paper recycling”.

She has form for stepping into controversies arguing recently that cultural appropriation was a passing fad, losing a Swedish publisher because of what they saw as a negative view of immigration, and saying the #metoo campaign would constrain fiction writers from portraying sexually predatory characters. She says she doesn’t like bandwagons but seems adept at starting them rolling.

Born 18 May 1957 in North Carolina, she has a stubborn and enduring Taurus Sun probably in an Earth Grand Trine to Jupiter in Virgo trine a Capricorn Moon, formed into a Kite by Sun opposition a Scorpio North Node which squares onto Pluto in Leo. A focal point Fixed Pluto will make her determined to the nth degree, controlling, disliking interference, with formidable stamina; and as with any heavily aspected Pluto will tend to arouse resistance and bitterness.

Her Mercury in Taurus is opposition Neptune and square Uranus so she has all of Mercury Uranus’s outspoken tendencies plus a marginally fanatical Uranus Neptune; and a focal point Uranus tends to be self-willed, a law unto herself.

She has Germaine Greer’s leaden-footedness when it comes to getting opinions across, which contain a nugget of truth but are put in a way designed to ruffle feathers. Greer also has a Fixed Sun (Aquarius) in hard aspect to Pluto and in hard aspect to a Fixed focal point Uranus as well; and both have North Node in Scorpio, which yearns for respect but finds old behaviour patterns and attitudes difficult to let go. They’re not a million miles apart in temperament.

Lionel Shriver will be battling on through some losses and disappointments at the moment into next year, some exuberantly confident phases and more upsets in 2019. She’s unlikely to be staying quiet.

Pic: Tony Sarowitz.

3 thoughts on “Lionel Shriver – feet first into controversies

  1. And just for the record, I cannot believe a woman who found it necessary to name her character Khatchadourian to add unconventionality to her book has the gall to mouth off about diversity.

  2. Someone should tell this outspoken gaff of a woman that poc are quite familiar with Western intellectual hegemony and she doesn’t have to so acrobatically place a foot in her mouth. Ask any poc outside of Europe/US seeking to get published in English. It also extends to scientific publication and has so for a long time. Ask JC Bose (if he were alive) how he feels about Marconi being considered the father of microwaves.

  3. It might be worthwhile to have a look at pre-natal eclipses: the total lunar five days before she was born, but especially the annular solar on 21 April 1957, in the very degree of her natal retro Mercury. I would take the latter to be indicative of someone who would be attracted to divisive and provocative viewpoints and statements.

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