Good and bad mothering : Lionel Shriver's 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'
Muller, Vivienne (2008) Good and bad mothering : Lionel Shriver's 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'. In Porter, Marie & Kelso, Julie (Eds.) Theorising and Representing Maternal Realities. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, pp. 38-53.
On Thursday the 8th of April 1999, at the age of sixteen, Kevin Katchourian, a boy from a white upper middle-class American home, son of two high earning professionals, corrals seven hand-picked classmates, a teacher and a cafeteria worker in his school gym and from an upper alcove, dispassionately, methodically, shoots and kills each one of them with his cross-bow. Prior to this massacre, as we later learn, he has similarly dispatched his sister and father. Only his mother Eva is spared but it seems from her perspective that Kevin has carefully orchestrated this killing spree just for her as some kind of calculated act. Revenge for bad mothering? Desire for recognition? This is something we never quite find out, nor does Eva, the self-reflexive narrator of Lionel Shriver’s novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, whose letters to her dead husband Franklin two years after the killings, take the reader on a journey into one woman’s experience of motherhood in 1980’s America, and to the possibility, raised retrospectively by Eva herself, that her frustrated and fraught relationship with her son might have contributed significantly to the way Kevin turns out.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Book Chapter|
|Keywords:||maternal, good and bad mothering, literary representation, We need to talk about Kevin, Lional Shriver|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Culture Gender Sexuality (200205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500)
|Divisions:||Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2008 Marie Porter and Julie Kelso and contributors|
|Copyright Statement:||This is the author’s manuscript version of the work. It is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution is permitted. For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see Official URL) or contact the author|
|Deposited On:||07 Apr 2009 23:06|
|Last Modified:||07 Oct 2015 23:22|
Repository Staff Only: item control page