Margaret Atwood returns to short fiction with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace.
A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in “Alphinland,” the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists.
In “The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom,” a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise.
In “Lusus Naturae,” a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire.
In “Torching the Dusties,” an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence.
And in “Stone Mattress,” a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite.
In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.
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.
"Realism and ridiculousness, play and deadly seriousness, are held in fine balance throughout.... Atwood's prose is sharp and sly." The Guardian
"Terrific.... Atwood's narrative control, her ability to surprise and her sparkling language are on full display." The Globe and Mail
"Atwood, more than 40 books into her career, has arrived here preoccupied not just with the churn of generations but also with legacy and reputation, with getting straight the story of one's life--the tale about the tale--and with surviving what happens once no one is paying any attention anymore.... Witty and frequently biting." New York Times