Sunday, 1 April 2012

A is for Margaret Atwood


I assume you've heard of the Blogging from A - Z Challenge - I've introduced my theme for the month here. Please take a look if you're unfamiliar with this challenge.

Link to Margaret Atwood's Goodreads Page
 The first Margaret Atwood book I read was The Edible Woman. I loved the prose and the rhythm, something that I enjoy within most of Atwood's books. Looking back, I see it as a feminst novel, although Atwood descibes it as protofeminist. I was under sixteen when I read it, so neither term would have meant much to me. I just saw the possibility of creating wonderful and challenging images with words.

One of the descriptions I remember vividly is that sponge cake reminded Marian of human lungs. It was probably the first novel I read that dealt with themes and the internal dialogue of the character - before that, I'd read a lot of children's novels and quite a lot of 1960s romance that my mum was given and passed on to me.

I was hooked. And I read a lot more Atwood. My favourite is probably Cat's Eyes (which, I realised as I was taking the photo above, I don't actually own) and a short story collection called Wilderness Tips (the third book down - phew, I own that one).

What I most admire about her is that she isn't pinned into a genre. She's written contemporary, dystopian, speculative and historical. Each book seems to be wildly different from the last, although I believe it's mostly the speculative fiction that she enjoys the most - The Handmaid's Tale being the most famous. And I'm so excited because a new collection of short stories is due out this year!

54 comments:

  1. I've heard a lot about Margaret Atwood, but have yet to read anything by her. I really should change that.

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    1. Isn't it strange when you know an author so well and then realise other people don't? She's so versitile, I'm sure you'll find something you like.

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  2. She's also written quality nonfiction. 'Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth,' was well-conceived and executed.

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    1. I've never read her non-fiction, although I know she's prolific. I'll check that one out, thanks.

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  3. I have never heard of her but now you have got me adding her to my reading list for the year. I just hope the local libary around here has her works (this is a small libary). I enjoyed reading your post and can't wait to read the rest. So with that said...Happy Writing!

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    1. Thanks K.D - even in my small and not very regularly restocked local library has a couple of her books, so I hope you find something!

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  4. I've never read anything by Margaret Atwood. I should check her out!

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    1. I'd be interested to hear what you think.

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  5. I have never read her but now you have me adding her to my reading list for the year. I love writers like what you are describing. Just hope that the local libary around here has it (it is a small libary). I enjoyed this piece and look forward to reading the rest. Happy Writing!

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  6. I love Margaret Atwood! Surfacing was the first book I read for my English Lit degree and, to be honest, I didn't really get it at first but it grew on me after a while. Cat's Eye is definitely my favourite too! :-)

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    1. It took me a couple of times to understand Surfacing too, but I was always drawn back to it.

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  7. I haven't read any of her books. I may look her up now after that recommendation. Thanks Annalisa. Have a great A to Z month!

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    1. I'd be interested to hear what you think of her. Have a good month too.

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  8. I too have heard about Margaret Atwood but not read any of her work. I shall try Cat's Eye... unless it's gruesome. I hate gruesome stories.

    A to Z of Nostalgia

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    1. No, Rosalind, not gruesome. I don't think she's written anything gruesome. Perhaps someone will correct me?

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  9. I love Margaret Atwood and your theme for the challenge. Great way to kick off A-Z!

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  10. A great start to the challenge, I haven't read any Margaret Attwood books but will certainly put her on my reading list for the future,

    Good luck with the challenge.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I think she's well worth a try. Quality literature.

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  11. This is going to be a really interesting month...and what an excellent start. I've never read Miss Atwood, but now I have Cat's Eyes on my TBR list. :)

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    1. It's been a while since I've read it - I think it'll have to go back on mine too :-)

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  12. I have several of her books but I honestly don't think I've ever read one. I'll have to do something about that.

    M.J. Fifield
    My Pet Blog

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    1. Oh yes, you should! Which ones do you have?

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  13. Margaret Atwood is my very favorite writer in the whole world, so you just won my heart too. Oryx and Crake is my favorite of hers, but I also love Good Bones and Simple Murders.

    Great start to the challenge!

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    1. I had two false starts with Oryx and Crake - I had to force myself to read the first third, but it was definitely worth it. I've not read Simple Murders though. It's going on my TBR list, thanks!

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  14. I haven't read any Margaret Attwood books either... But her work sounds good!

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    1. I'd recommend a short story collection first maybe, for a sample of her varying styles.

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  15. The only thing I've read by her is The Handmaid's Tale, which I loved. You're going to grow my reading list single handedly this month, aren't you? :-)

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    1. Yes, Sarah, I am :-) - although there are some songs, and a film too (so far, at least - I still have 6 unwritten letters!)

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  16. I admit I haven't read any Margaret Attwood YET.. Will be remedying that soon, though! Kindle bookstore here I come!

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    1. It's a lovely thought that I'm introducing people to an author. I hope you enjoy!

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  17. Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite writers! She came to my school when I was in college and I got to meet her. It was the highlight of a lifetime. Awesome post and Happy A-Z blogging!

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  18. I haven't read her but I love writers who aren't afraid to write in different directions/genres. Headed to Amazon now!

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    1. I think publishers are less willing to let their authors experiment - perhaps the rise of indie publishing will tilt the balance.

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  19. Oh, what a great choice to start the challenge. I loved the Handmaid's Tale! Love your theme too and I can't wait to see what other authors you decide to highlight.

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  20. I'm just going to ditto Gwen's comment!

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    1. Which made me scroll up to Gwen's comments... Ditto my comment to Gewn lol!

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  21. The Handmaid's Tale is the only Atwood I've read, but your post made me want to put some more of hers on my TBR list!

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    1. I'm so glad - this is what I was hoping for :-) She deserves to be read.

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  22. I've bought a couple of her books, which are sitting on my to-read pile, but I haven't picked them up yet. You made me want to move them up higher on the pile.

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    1. I hope you do, and let me know what you think.

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  23. Oh yes, Cat's Eye! Atwood is awesome. Excellent choice!

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  24. thanks for this lovely author write up!

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  25. I read The Handmaid's Tale - a while back. Thanks for reminding me of this A author. :)

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    1. I've also reminded myself I need to re-read one of her books, which one to choose...

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  26. Love the lungs imagery. Good to meet you. Check out my blog too.

    www.prose-spective.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the follow, Rena. I'll be over at some point - I'm snowed under and haven't even looked at Bs yet :-)

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  27. Great post for the letter A! It's going to be a great month!

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    1. Thanks Margo, and thanks for the follow!

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  28. I read A Handmaid's Tale a while back and reviewed it on my blog. I thought it was interesting, but I thought the tacked on ending was rather odd.


    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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Please comment - I love a good chat!