In Alias Grace, bestselling author Margaret Atwood has written her most captivating, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying work since The Handmaid's Tale. She takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century.Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?From the Trade Paperback edition.
A compilation of the best American short stories from 1989.
"Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." These words are spoken by Iris Chase Griffen, married at eighteen to a wealthy industrialist but now poor and eighty-two. Iris recalls her far from exemplary life, and the events leading up to her sister's death, gradually revealing the carefully guarded Chase family secrets. Among these is "The Blind Assassin," a novel that earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following. Sexually explicit for its time, it was a pulp fantasy improvised by two unnamed lovers who meet secretly in rented rooms and seedy cafés. As this novel-within-a-novel twists and turns through love and jealousy, self-sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real narrative, as both move closer to war and catastrophe. Margaret Atwood's Booker Prize-winning sensation combines elements of gothic drama, romantic suspense, and science fiction fantasy in a spellbinding tale.<P><P> Man Booker Prize winner
With the publication of the best-selling The Handmaid's Tale in 1986, Margaret Atwood's place in North American letters was reconfirmed. Poet, short story writer, and novelist, she was acclaimed "one of the most intelligent and talented writers to set herself the task of deciphering life in the late twentieth century."* Of Atwood's first collection of short fiction, Dancing Girls, Anne Tyler wrote in the New York Times Book Review: "Her narrative style is as precise as cut glass; entire plots appear to balance upon a choice phrase, and clearly she writes with an ear cocked for the way her words will sound when read back." With Bluebeard's Egg, her second short story collection, Atwood covers a dramatic range of storytelling, her scope encompassing the many moods of her characters, from the desolate to the hilarious. The stories are set in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1980s and concern themselves with relationships of various sorts. There is the bond between a political activist and his kidnapped cat, a woman and her dead psychiatrist, a potter and the group of poets who live with her and mythologize her, an artist and the strange men she picks up to use as models. There is a man who finds himself surrounded by women who are literally shrinking, and a woman whose life is dominated by a fear of nuclear warfare; there are telling relationships among parents and children. By turns humorous and warm, stark and frightening, Bluebeard's Egg explores and illuminates both the outer world in which we all live and the inner world that each of us creates. *Le Anne Schreiber, Vogue
Rennie Wilford is a freelance journalist who takes an assignment in the Caribbean in the hopes of recuperating from her recently shattered life. On the tiny island of St. Antoine, she tumbles into a corrupt world where no one is what they seem, where her rules for survival no longer apply. This is a thoroughly gripping novel of intrigue and betrayal, which explores human defensiveness, the lust for power both sexual and political, and the need for a compassion that goes beyond what we ordinarily mean by love. The enigma unfolds as it would for any innocent bystander swept up by events, bringing along the scruples, and the fears, of the past.From the Hardcover edition.
Controversial painter Elaine Risley returns from Vancouver for a retrospective of her work. Here, in Toronto, the city of her youth, she confronts the submerged layers of her past - her unconventional family, her eccentric and brilliant brother, the self-righteous Mrs. Smeath, and the two men Elaine later came to love in diverse and sometimes disastrous ways. But it is the enigmatic Cordelia, once her tormentor, then her best friend, whose elusive yet powerful presence in her life Elaine finally comes to understand. The realm of childhood and growing up, with its secrecies, cruelties, betrayals, and terrors, has never been so brilliantly evoked. By turns disquieting, humorous, compassionate, haunting and mordant, Cat's Eye is vintage Atwood.From the Hardcover edition.
In Chocky, pioneering science-fiction master John Wyndham confronts an enigma as strange as anything found in his classic works The Day of the Triffids or The Chrysalids--the mind of a child. It's not terribly unusual for a boy to have an imaginary friend, but Matthew's parents have to agree that his--nicknamed Chocky--is anything but ordinary. Why, Chocky demands to know, are there twenty-four hours in a day? Why are there two sexes? Why can't Matthew solve his math homework using a logical system like binary code? When the questions Chocky asks become too advanced and, frankly, too odd for teachers to answer, Matthew's parents start to wonder if Chocky might be something far stranger than a figment of their son's imagination. Chocky, the last novel Wyndham published during his life, is a playful investigation of what being human is all about, delving into such matters as child-rearing, marriage, learning, artistic inspiration--and ending with a surprising and impassioned plea for better human stewardship of the earth.
This splendid volume of short fiction testifies to Margaret Atwood's startlingly original voice, full of a rare intensity and exceptional intelligence. Her men and women still miscommunicate, still remain separate in different rooms, different houses, or even different worlds. With brilliant flashes of fantasy, humor, and unexpected violence, the stories reveal the complexities of human relationships and bring to life characters who touch us deeply, evoking terror and laughter, compassion and recognition--and dramatically demonstrate why Margaret Atwood is one of the most important writers in English today.
Dancing Girls is Margaret Atwood's highly praised first collection of short fiction. In it she explores the dark intricacies of the mind, the complexities of human relationships, and the clashes between cultures. In the stories, the mundane and the bizarre intersect in unexpected ways: ex-wives indulge in an odd feast at a psychiatrist's funeral; a young student is pursued by an obsessed immigrant; an old woman stores up supplies against an impending cataclysm. The fourteen stories range in setting from Canada to England, from Mexico to the United States, and portray characters who touch us and arouse in us compassion and understanding. In this astonishing collection, Margaret Atwood maps human motivation we scarcely know we have.From the Hardcover edition.
In honor of the thirtieth anniversary of The Handmaid's Tale: Margaret Atwood describes how she came to write her utopian, dystopian works. The word "utopia" comes from Thomas More's book of the same name--meaning "no place" or "good place," or both. In "Dire Cartographies," from the essay collection In Other Worlds, Atwood coins the term "ustopia," which combines utopia and dystopia, the imagined perfect society and its opposite. Each contains latent versions of the other. Following her intellectual journey and growing familiarity with ustopias fictional and real, from Atlantis to Avatar and Beowulf to Berlin in 1984 (and 1984), Atwood explains how years after abandoning a PhD thesis with chapters on good and bad societies, she produced novel-length dystopias and ustopias of her own. "My rules for The Handmaid's Tale were simple," Atwood writes. "I would not put into this book anything that humankind had not already done, somewhere, sometime, or for which it did not already have the tools." With great wit and erudition, Atwood reveals the history behind her beloved creations.
In honor of the thirtieth anniversary of The Handmaid's Tale: Margaret Atwood describes how she came to write her utopian, dystopian works. The word "utopia" comes from Thomas More's book of the same name--meaning "no place" or "good place,"" or both. In "Dire Cartographies," from the essay collection In Other Worlds, Atwood coins the term "ustopia,"" which combines utopia and dystopia, the imagined perfect society and its opposite. Each contains latent versions of the other. Following her intellectual journey and growing familiarity with ustopias fictional and real, from Atlantis to Avatar and Beowulf to Berlin in 1984 (and 1984), Atwood explains how years after abandoning a PhD thesis with chapters on good and bad societies, she produced novel-length dystopias and ustopias of her own. "My rules for The Handmaid's Tale were simple," Atwood writes. "I would not put into this book anything that humankind had not already done, somewhere, sometime, or for which it did not already have the tools." With great wit and erudition, Atwood reveals the history behind her beloved creations.
A stunning lyrical achievement and Atwood's first collection of new poems in over a decade.The Door is Margaret Atwood's first book of poetry since the award-winning Morning in the Burned House (1995). Its fifty lucid yet urgent poems range in tone from lyric to ironic to meditative to prophetic, and in subject from the personal to the political, viewed in its broadest sense. They investigate the mysterious writing of poetry itself, as well as the passage of time and our shared sense of mortality. The collection begins with poems that consider the past and ends with harbingers of things to come.Brave and compassionate, The Door interrogates the certainties that we build our lives on.From the Hardcover edition.
The Door, Margaret Atwood's first book of poetry since Morning in the Burned House, is a magnificent achievement. Here in paperback for the first time, these fifty lucid, urgent poems range in tone from lyric to ironic to mediative to prophetic, and in subject from the personal to the political, viewed in its broadest sense. They investigate the mysterious writing of poetry itself, as well as the passage of time and our shared sense of mortality. Brave and compassionate, The Door interrogates the certainties that we build our lives on, and reminds us once again of Margaret Atwood's unique accomplishments as one of the finest and most celebrated writers of our time.
Marian has a problem. A willing member of the consumer society in which she lives, she suddenly finds herself identifying with the things being consumed. She can cope with her tidy-minded fiancé, Peter, who likes shooting rabbits. She can cope with her job in market research, and the antics of her roommate. She can even cope with Duncan, a graduate student who seems to prefer laundromats to women. But not being able to eat is a different matter. Steak was the first to go. Then lamb, pork, and the rest. Next came her incapacity to face an egg. Vegetables were the final straw. But Marian has her reasons, and what happens next provides an unusual solution. Witty, subversive, hilarious, The Edible Woman is dazzling and utterly original. It is Margaret Atwood's brilliant first novel, and the book that introduced her as a consummate observer of the ironies and absurdities of modern life.
Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before the nineteenth century thought just the opposite. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, biology, and history, Ian Morris, author of the best-selling Why the West Rules--for Now, explains why. The result is a compelling new argument about the evolution of human values, one that has far-reaching implications for how we understand the past--and for what might happen next.Fundamental long-term changes in values, Morris argues, are driven by the most basic force of all: energy. Humans have found three main ways to get the energy they need--from foraging, farming, and fossil fuels. Each energy source sets strict limits on what kinds of societies can succeed, and each kind of society rewards specific values. In tiny forager bands, people who value equality but are ready to settle problems violently do better than those who aren't; in large farming societies, people who value hierarchy and are less willing to use violence do best; and in huge fossil-fuel societies, the pendulum has swung back toward equality but even further away from violence.But if our fossil-fuel world favors democratic, open societies, the ongoing revolution in energy capture means that our most cherished values are very likely to turn out--at some point fairly soon--not to be useful any more.Originating as the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, the book includes challenging responses by novelist Margaret Atwood, philosopher Christine Korsgaard, classicist Richard Seaford, and historian of China Jonathan Spence.
Analyzing feudalism in Europe and Japan and European expropriation of lands and peoples across the globe, Marilyn French poses a provocative question: how and why did women, with no power or independence, nourish and preserve the family unit and their own culture?Marilyn French's The Women's Room crystallized the issues that ignited the women's movement and was translated into twenty languages. She received her PhD from Harvard and taught English at Hofstra University, Harvard University, and Holy Cross College.Internationally acclaimed author and critic Margaret Atwood is the author of numerous works of fiction, including The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin.
The truth about what happened on Sir John Franklin's ill-fated Arctic expedition of 1845-48 has been shrouded in mystery for 165 years. Carrying the best equipment that the science and technology, Franklin and his men set out to "penetrate the icy fastness of the north, and to circumnavigate America." The expedition's two ships - HMS Erebus and HMS Terror - carrying 129 officers and men, disappeared without a trace. From 1846 to 1880 more than 20 major rescue parties were involved in the search for the missing men and ships. The disappearance of the expedition and absence of any substantial written accounts of the journey have left attempts at a reconstruction of events sketchy and inconclusive. In Frozen in Time, forensic anthropologist Owen Beattie and historian John Geiger tell the dramatic story of the excavation of three sailors from the Franklin Expeditions, buried for 138 years on the lonely headland of Beechey Island. This book contains the astonishing photographic record of the excavation, together with the maps and illustrations that accompany this riveting account of Franklin's fatal adventure. The unfolding of Dr. Beattie's unexpected findings is not only a significant document but also, in itself, a tale of high adventure.
The revised text of "Frozen in Time" expands on the history of nineteenth century British Arctic exploration and specifically the Franklin expedition, placing it in the context of other expeditions of the era, including those commanded by George Back and James Clark Ross.The Franklin expedition was not alone in suffering early and unexplained deaths. Indeed, the expeditions of both Back (1837) and Ross (1849) were forced to retreat because of the rapacious illness that stalked their ships. The authors make the case that this illness was due to the crews' overwhelming reliance on a new technology: tinned foods. This not only exposed the seamen to lead, an insidious poison, but also left them vulnerable to scurvy.The revised "Frozen in Time" will also update the research outlined in the original edition, and will introduce independent confirmation of Dr. Beattie's lead hypothesis, along with corroboration of his discovery of physical evidence for both scurvy and cannibalism. In addition, the book includes a new introduction written by Margaret Atwood, who has long been fascinated by the role of the Franklin Expedition in Canada's literary conscience.Includes never before seen photographs from the exhumations on Beechey Island and rarely seen historical illustrations.
In Good Bones, first published in 1992, Margaret Atwood has fashioned an enthralling collection of parable, monologue, mini-romance and mini-biography, speculative fiction, prose lyric, outrageous recipe and reconfigured fairy tale, demonstrating yet again the play of an unerring wit overseen by a panoramic intelligence. Good Bones is a cornucopia of good things -- precise, witty, wise, and sometimes offbeat Atwood writing, with the funny and the sidelong view of the world which her readers recognize at once.
Margaret Atwood's Good Bones and Simple Murders (published originally as Murder in the Dark) are now available together in this beautiful one-volume collector's edition. This compilation is a concentrated burst of the trademark wit and virtuosity of Atwood's bestselling novels, brilliant stories, and insightful poetry. Among the miniatures gathered here are Gertrude offering Hamlet a piece of her mind, the real truth about the Little Red Hen, a reincarnated bat explaining how Bram Stoker got Dracula all wrong, and five home-economist methods of making a man. Atwood has fashioned an enthralling collection of parables, monologues, prose poems, condensed science fictions, reconfigured fairy tales, and other diminutive masterpieces, punctuated with charming illustrations by the author.A feast of comic entertainment, Good Bones and Simple Murders is Atwood at her wittiest, most thoughtful, and most provoking.From the Hardcover edition.
"Both a riveting novel on its own merits and an astonishing gloss on an earlier masterpiece."--Margaret Atwood Bengt Ohlsson, one of Sweden's most successful young writers, has responded to the classic Doctor Glas with Gregorius, which is the voice of Pastor Gregorius over the course of what could be his last and fateful summer. Gregorius is a rancorous, malodorous, and unattractive figure married to a girl young enough to be his granddaughter. But his sense of his own mortality, of his personal inadequacy, and his tenuous hold on happiness are uniquely absorbing and haunting. It is a compelling study of loneliness, longing, and the nature of love, the desires that bring people together and the fears that keep them apart.
The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.
In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate "Handmaids" under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred's persistent memories of life in the "time before" and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.From the Hardcover edition.
Imagining a world where citizens take turns as prisoners and jailers, the prophetic Margaret Atwood delivers a hilarious yet harrowing tale about liberty, power, and the irrepressibility of the human appetite. Several years after the world's brutal economic collapse, Stan and Charmaine, a married couple struggling to stay afloat, hear about the Positron Project in the town of Consilience, an experiment in cooperative living that appears to be the answer to their problems - to living in their car, to the lousy jobs, to the vandalism and the gangs, to their piled-up debt. There's just one drawback: once inside Consilience, you don't get out. After weighing their limited options, Stan and Charmaine sign up, and soon they find themselves involved in the town's strategy for economic stability: a pervasive prison system, whereby each citizen lives a double life, as a prisoner one month, and a guard or town functionary the next. At first, Stan and Charmaine enjoy their newfound prosperity. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who shares her civilian house, her actions set off an unexpected chain of events that leave Stan running for his life. Brilliant, dark, and provocative, The Heart Goes Last is a compelling futuristic vision that will drive readers to the edge of their seats.From the Hardcover edition.
Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid's Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin. Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around--and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in . . . for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes. At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.From the Hardcover edition.
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