We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel ShriverRead about the other entries on the list.
Told from the perspective of the mother of a school shooter writing letters to her estranged husband, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the question of nature versus nurture in determining human wickedness. When I told my mom I was doing this list and asked if she would consider Kevin a horror novel, she stared at me for a second and said, “That last scene, J.A. That last scene.” I agree. Though it’s technically literary fiction, and very much grounded in reality, this deft and unflinching portrayal of a family torn apart by violence is truly horrifying. The novel’s last few scenes are particularly brutal, culminating in a heave-up-your-lunch final image that is burned forever in my mind.
We Need to Talk about Kevin is on Dea Brøvig’s top ten list of books about mothers, Michael Hogan's list of the ten best fictional evil children, Fiona Maazel's list of the ten worst fathers in books, John Mullan's list of ten of the best sentences as book titles, and Shirley Henderson's six best books list.