Imagine the scene. Go on, project yourself into that marquee at the Brisbane Writers Festival this September when Lionel Shriver stood up at the pulpit to give the keynote speech, entitled ‘Fiction and Identity Politics’. She had been asked to speak on the subject of ‘community and belonging’, but, as she put it, expecting a ‘renowned iconoclast’ such as herself to tackle anything so mushy was like asking a ‘great white shark to balance a beach ball on its nose’.
I’ve been imagining the scene ever since the story broke; in fact I can’t get it out of my head. The coverage, after all, has been particularly vivid: The Guardian printed the full transcript of Shriver’s talk, which can be read against the account (also published in The Guardian)