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I haven't entered my Atwood books yet. I will go remedy that right now.
Now I'm going to try some Atwood titles in the Unsuggester!
The Penelopiad and Moral Disorder. I'm looking forward to reading them this month, I hope.
Did any of you add to your Atwood collections over the holidays? Or read any that were new to you?
Happy new year to all!
I do the same thing. The only thing I entered, because I thought I knew where it was, was my 1st. edition Steinbeck. Now I can't find it and don't know what box it's it (*panicked!*).
And regarding the whole autobiographical thing; it's only on the jacket flap so it could be just a promotional gimmick.
While I am trying to put my thoughts together, here's an article I just pulled up on the internet. I read Moral disorder last October, ( after rereading Bodily Harm, I believe I wrote something to the group about that earlier). I think this article answers "the whole autobiographical thing" quite well, but best read this one too after finishing the book avaland. I skimmed past the first part about Alice Munro's new book The View from Castle Rock because it's still in my to read pile. The comments about Moral Disorder are at the end.
'View from Castle Rock' by Alice Munro and 'Moral Disorder' by Margaret Atwood
Canadian writers sift through memory with skilled eyes
Sunday, November 19, 2006
By Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(might reveal too much if you haven't read the book yet).
and here's a link to the news story with a brief interview with Mary-Louise Parker.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/070117/entertainment/tv_robber_bride (again, plot spoiler warning).
It's a co-production with Canada's Shaftesbury Films and the U.K.'s Working Title Television, (so will probably be shown in the U.K. some time soon), and it will air on Oxygen in the United States.
Sounds like it will be a good thriller, although I don't know whether much of Atwood's darkly bitter humour will make it to TV.
- Edited to add that it was very good, with great acting. Recommended viewing if you can find it.
A little web research seems to indicate that it will air in the US in mid-March.
Might be some potential conversation catalysts in there, don't you think?
I saw a promo recently for the "Robber Bride" movie, and tho' I'm glad to hear you liked it, I am still a little leery. As marvelous an actress as Mary Louise Parker is, she doesn't match the Zenia in my head: the Zenia I've always imagined is more glamorous, more dangerous, darker and fiercer. M.L. Parker is just so...wholesome.
I worry that it'll be like the mini-series of "The Thorn Birds": Rachel Ward was not at all my vision of Meggie, and as good as she was, I was distracted throughout by the thought,"But she's all wrong! That's not what Meggie's supposed to look like!"
Did Ms. Parker's Zenia work for you?
I'm looking forward to the results of the Man Booker prize. The other nominees are very strong, but I think/hope Atwood would be worthy of this great honour.
I love how Atwood weaves a story; and her use of symbolism is brilliant. What an amazing writer!
I am now going to move it from the cookbook shelf to the TBR pile as it contains interesting excerpts from books and poetry.
btw, the new picture is from the back cover of Power Politics which I just acquired (I'm trying to fill in all my Atwood 'gaps').
However, please don't feel limited to just talking about Atwood. Certainly, we are all here because we enjoy her novels, essays, or poetry, but we can talk about anything we want. I envisioned the group as a gathering place with Atwood as the common denominator and know we've gathered some of the best readers on LT in this group, so let's talk!
No good at posting clickable links, but here is an article Atwood wrote in the Guardian Review at the weekend about Huxley's Brave New World
I have The robber bride on my to reread list, better move it up to spring if there will be a new novel in the fall.
any inklings of a younger Canadian who might be seen as inheriting the mantle of Margaret Atwood? I realize I'm premature here, but it was just a thought. . .
Ann-Marie Macdonald wrote a book Fall on Your Knees that was featured as one of Oprah Winfrey's book choices.
Jane Urquhart writes wonderful books.
Certainly Atwood helped Vincent Lam ,a recent Giller Prize winner.The story is that Lam was a doctor on a cruise ship and showed one of the guests-Margaret Atwood- his writing.
The first question- I think that Canadian lit always needs a champion. But Atwood has been joined by the Canada Reads programme on CBC. the Giller prize and numerous literary festivals.
I started reading Atwood in 1987 when I bought "The Handmaid's Tale" and am an addict.
Finding this group in the last twenty minutes has alerted me to the Cambridge Companion and the CBC film of "The Robber Bride" and I have to go now and chase them up. Thanks!
Not read any Atwood recently, but will try and put a couple on my Summer reading list. I've been meaning to re-read The Handmaiden's Tale for a few years.
ETA: I did bring a couple of her essay volumes near the top of a pile the other day!
The novel was written during the Reagan/Thatcher years when conservatism was on the rise and the religious right was gaining political power (i.e. Falwell's Moral Majority). Atwood criticizes both with her speculative tale set in future New England (Cambridge, Massachusetts near Harvard mostly, but Bangor, Maine is mentioned). It was popular when published with both literary fiction and science fiction readers. It remains relevant to today, imo, and I think that is why it still sells.
It was also one of the first contemporary novels written by a woman that had CliffNotes, so I suspect it was taught in schools or colleges.
Wow. I'm not even sure what to say to that! I guess CliffNotes are relatively new, but still!
Well, the difference between HT and O&C is that the latter is a satire, with more than a little tongue-in-cheek. HT is not meant to be humorous. I don't agree that they address the same issues. For HT, she aimed at conservativism and religious fundamentalism, for O&C and the Year of the Flood, I think she aimed much more broadly - from climate change and ecology to the power of corporations.
Handmaid's Tale had a powerful impact on me personally when I first read it. I can't speak for the other 15,996 people:-) I've read it several times since the mid-80s and it doesn't quite pack the punch it did for me then, I think I would list it alongside Blind Assassin or The Robber Bride as favorites nowadays.
I have to remind myself about this when I am disappointed by younger folks thoughts after seeing the film Blade Runner. Almost every movie set in the future since references it, but young folks have seen all these, but not the film that inspired many of the effects and are so much less impressed with the original because of this.
For me as a regular re-reader, I get a lot of pleasure even from books that don't pack the same punch as a first time read, but there are a handful of books that just keep on getting better!
You have a point about the time when a book was published. I imagine that when the book came out it had a real impact on many people because it would have been quite controversial as well as ground breaking. Because it had such an impact it is natural that it would then become a reference point for other works. I did not see the movie so don't have that reference point.
I do see many of the same themes in Handmaid's Tale that I saw in the other books and I do think that it is an amazing piece of writing, but for me it isn't as engrossing of a story as was Blind Assassin. In fact, I tried to get my book group to read Blind Assassin instead of Handmaid's because I thought the former was such an excellent story. There were places in Oryx and Crake that were quite funny and I did get the satire, especially about advertising, but think that some other books I have read did what she did in that book, earlier than her and better. (For instance, Feed by M. T. Anderson.) I am about half way through with Handmaid so will know more about this book as I get more read.