In these ten dazzling interrelated stories Atwood traces the course of a life and also the lives intertwined with it, while evoking the drama and the humour that colour common experiences — the birth of a baby, divorce and remarriage, old age and death. With settings ranging from Toronto, northern Quebec, and rural Ontario, the stories begin in the present, as a couple no longer young situate themselves in a larger world no longer safe. Then the narrative goes back in time to the forties and moves chronologically forward toward the present.
In “The Art of Cooking and Serving,” the twelve-year-old narrator does her best to accommodate the arrival of a baby sister. After she boldly declares her independence, we follow the narrator into young adulthood and then through a complex relationship. In “The Entities,” the story of two women haunted by the past unfolds. The magnificent last two stories reveal the heartbreaking old age of parents but circle back again to childhood, to complete the cycle.
By turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal, Moral Disorder displays Atwood’s celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage. This is vintage Atwood, writing at the height of her powers.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. A book of short stories called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales was published in 2014. Her novel, MaddAddam (2013), is the final volume in a three-book series that began with the Man-Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003) and continued with The Year of the Flood (2009). The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short fiction) both appeared in 2006. A volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, a collection of non-fiction essays appeared in 2011. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth was adapted for the screen in 2012. Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.
“This snapshot collection is a study of memory, to be cherished not just as an acute portrayal of family life, with all its possibilities and failings, but for revealing a little more of Atwood’s own struggle.” The Times
“Vintage Atwood: slyly operatic, playfully tenebrous and a touch of sanguinary.” Globe and Mail
“Atwood does geography--emotional and physical--better than anyone.... Atwood is in top form as she sketches female guises and disguises: daughter, sister, lover, wife.” Toronto Star
“Atwood travels deep into the expanse of memories and language built up over her writing lifetime and offers a handful of gems to illuminate our times.” Los Angeles Times
“Margaret Atwood has always been an acute observer of women.... Crisp to the senses and compelling.” The Telegraph (UK)
“Atwood is still a master of the compelling, peculiar portrait of human behavior.” Entertainment Weekly
“Margaret Atwood balances the apparently random--disorderly--events and memories against the sense we all have that a life as a whole has its own shape, possibly a destiny.... This tale, like all these tales, is both grim and delightful, because it is triumphantly understood and excellently written.” A.S. Byatt, Washington Post Book World