Winner of the 2010 Margaret Atwood Society Best Book Prize.
In Engendering Genre, renowned Margaret Atwood scholar Reingard M. Nischik analyzes the relationship between gender and genre in Atwood’s works. She approaches Atwood’s oeuvre by genre – poetry, short fiction, novels, criticism, comics, and film – and examines them individually. She explores how Atwood has developed her genres to be gender-sensitive in both content and form and argues that gender and genre are inherently complicit in Atwood’s work: they converge to critique the gender-biased designs of traditional genres. This combination of gender and genre results in the recognizable Atwoodian style that shakes and extends the boundaries of conventional genres and explores them in new ways.
The book includes the first in-depth treatment of Atwood’s cartoon art as well as the first survey of her involvement with film, and concludes with an interview with Margaret Atwood on her career “From Survivalwoman to Literary Icon.”
Reingard M. Nischik is professor and chair of North American Literature at the University of Constance, Germany. She is the author or editor of more than 25 books, including Margaret Atwood: Works and Impact (Anansi, 2002), which won the Margaret Atwood Society Best Book Award and the seminal History of Literature in Canada: English-Canadian and French-Canadian (Camden House, 2008).
"Nischik's study is meticulously researched and clearly written. ... [It] offers an innovative and exciting contribution to Atwood studies." -- The Review of English Studies
"Nischik's strength is in the minutiae and in her close reading. This is what Atwood scholarship needs now, and Nischik provides a strong framework for anyone interested in Atwood scholarship, whether one is just starting out or an experienced scholar." -- The Goose
"An attractive, accessible, and useful addition to the ever-expanding body of critical works on Atwood." -- Canadian Literature
"Engendering Genre is a nuanced, elegant and extremely well-informed interdisciplinary study of the complexities and ironies of Atwood’s handling of genre and gender in an extremely broad and varied œuvre. Its comprehensive approach is a fine tribute to the omnipresence of gender in Atwood’s works."
“Nischik offers a genuinely original take on established critical conversations about Atwood's writing. For the first time, Atwood's literary achievements are set alongside less familiar creative modes, providing a fuller picture of the author's creative history and offering fresh insight into her innovations across literary genres.” -- Contemporary Women's Writing
"Offering interpretations of some of Atwood's best-known and less-familiar works, Nischik has written chapters that are individually strong but which together provide a way to read Atwood's oeuvre as a 'significant cultural document of our times.' Highly recommended." -- Choice