Please subscribe to Hay Player for access to this content (more details)
Subscribe for £15.00 or log in if you already have a subscription
 

Lionel Shriver talks to Georgina Godwin

Should We Stay or Should We Go

Hay Festival 2021, 

When her father dies, Kay Wilkinson can’t cry. Over ten years, Alzheimer’s had steadily eroded this erudite man. But surely one’s own father passing should never come as such a relief?

Both healthy and vital medical professionals in their early fifties, Kay and her husband Cyril have seen too many of their elderly NHS patients in similar states of decay. Determined to die with dignity, Cyril makes a modest proposal: they should agree to commit suicide together once they’ve both turned 80. When their deal is sealed in 1991, the spouses are blithely looking forward to another three decades together. But then they turn eighty. By turns hilarious and touching, playful and grave, Should We Stay or Should We Goportrays 12 parallel universes, each one a possible future for Kay and Cyril, from a purgatorial retirement home to the discovery of a cure for ageing, from cryogenic preservation to the unexpected pleasures of dementia. The author talks to writer and broadcaster Georgina Godwin.

Lionel Shriver talks to Georgina Godwin