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Pets Essays

On Cats

An Anthology

introduction by Margaret Atwood

photographs by Elliot Ross

Publisher
New York Review Books
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Category
Essays, General, Essays
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781912559329
    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price
    $25.95

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Description

For centuries, cats have been worshipped, adored and mistrusted in equal measure. This beautiful gift book contains a selection of essays, stories, and poems on cats by writers from across the ages.

In these pages, writers reflect on the curious feline qualities that inspire such devotion in their owners, even when it seems one-sided. Cats’ affections are hard-won and often fickle. Freud considered his cat an embodiment of true egoism; Hilaire Belloc found peace in his feline companion’s complacency; and Hemingway—a famous cat-lover—wrote of drinking with his eleven cats and the pleasant distraction they gave him.

Edward Gorey can’t turn down a stray despite the trouble they cause him, and admits he has no idea what they’re thinking about; Muriel Spark gives practical advice on how to teach a cat to play ping-pong; Nikola Tesla, who helped design the modern electricity supply system, describes a seminal experience with a cat that first sparked his fascination with electricity; and Caitlin Moran considers the unexpected feelings of loss after the death of her family cat.

These writers, and many others (including Mary Gaitskill, Alice Walker, Ursula K. Le Guin, John Keats, James Bowen, Lynne Truss, and more), paint a joyful portrait of cats and their mysterious and loveable ways. As Hemingway wrote, “one cat leads to another.” The book features six black-and-white cat portraits by photographer Elliot Ross.

About the authors


Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.
Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood's dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, part of the Massey Lecture series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood's work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM.
Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. 

Margaret Atwood's profile page

Elliot Ross' profile page

Other titles by Margaret Atwood