The Female of the Species - “Shriver’s debut is a 'literary' novel without an iota of pretentiousness. It reads with the grace of a well-written spy story, but conveys some of its author’s early wisdom about what our humanity both demands of and grants us.” —Washington Post
The first novel by the New York Times bestselling author Lionel Shriver, The Female of the Species is the exotic and chilling story of a highly independent and successful woman’s late-life romantic education, in all its ecstasy and desperation
Still unattached and childless at fifty-nine, world-renowned anthropologist Gray Kaiser is seemingly invincible—and untouchable. Returning to make a documentary at the site of her first great triumph in Kenya, she is accompanied by her faithful middle-aged assistant, Errol McEchern, who has loved her for years in silence. When sexy young graduate assistant Raphael Sarasola arrives on the scene, Gray is captivated and falls hopelessly in love—before an amazed and injured Errol's eyes. As he follows the progress of their affair with jealous fascination, Errol watches helplessly from the sidelines as a proud and fierce woman is reduced to miserable dependence through subtle, cruel, and calculating manipulation.