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.
Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
She is the author of more than thirty books – novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children.
Atwood’s work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye – both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her new novel is Oryx and Crake (2003). She is the recipient of numerous honours, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the U.K., the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S., Le Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.
“A haunting work of art.”
“Lyrical, startling in its mastery of language, compelling in its handling of memory and forgetting, in its understanding of the ravages of the unransomed past.”
–London Free Press
“Atwood conceives Elaine with a poet’s transforming fire; and delivers her to us that way, a flame inside an icicle.”
–Los Angeles Times
“Irresistible.…This book is about life for all of us.”
–The Times (U.K.)
“No reader will fail to be moved, even to tears, by this novel. It is poignant and lingering.”
–Aritha van Herk, Calgary Herald
“A strong and intriguing novel, a literary event”
“Remarkable, funny, and serious, brimming with uncanny wisdom.”
“Cat’s Eye is a novel which it is difficult not to be swept off one’s feet by. It is enormously intelligent, compassionate, superbly written.”
–Atlantic Provinces Book Review
“A daring piece of work.…Atwood ups the aesthetic ante, placing the mundane in a speculative framework where nothing can be taken for what it seems to be, in art or life, in past or present, in time or out of it.”
–San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“Nightmarish, evocative, heartbreaking.…”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Tremendous . . . totally grips the reader with its imaginative power.…
“Put this haunting, taunting account of childhood on the must-read list”