Novels are good at dissecting society, but can fiction ever make a difference? Lionel Shriver's new book, So Much for That, is set in contemporary America and addresses big themes of family illness (against the back-drop of Obama's healthcare bill), money (in the aftermath of the Credit Crunch) and the universal search for happiness. Amanda Craig's Hearts and Minds, a panoramic novel about London, is a gripping murder story told through the intertwined lives of recent immigrants and has the finger on the pulse of the teeming Metropolis. They discuss their books and whether topical literature can make things happen. (DeadGoodBooks)
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