From the author of the New York Times bestselling novels The Handmaid’s Tale—now an Emmy Award-winning Hulu original series—and Alias Grace, now a Netflix original series. Joan Foster is the bored wife of a myopic ban-the-bomber. She takes off overnight as Canada's new superpoet, pens lurid gothics on the sly, attracts a blackmailing reporter, skids cheerfully in and out of menacing plots, hair-raising traps, and passionate trysts, and lands dead and well in Terremoto, Italy. In this remarkable, poetic, and magical novel, Margaret Atwood proves yet again why she is considered to be one of the most important and accomplished writers of our time.
Examining Margaret Atwood's work in the context of the complex history of the Bildungsroman, Ellen McWilliams explores how the genre has been appropriated by women writers in the second half of the twentieth century. She demonstrates that Atwood's early work - her own 'coming of age' fiction, including unpublished works as well as The Edible Woman, Surfacing, and Lady Oracle - both engages with and works against the paradigms of identity which are traditionally associated with the genre. Making extensive use of unpublished manuscripts in the Atwood Collection at the University of Toronto, McWilliams uncovers influences that shaped Atwood's fashioning of identity in her early novels, paying particular attention to Atwood's preoccupation with survival as a key symbol of Canadian literature, culture, and identity. She also considers the genre's afterlife on display in Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and Moral Disorder, in which the formulations of selfhood and identity in Atwood's early fiction are revisited and developed. Atwood emerges as a writer who self-consciously invokes and then undercuts the traditions of the Bildungsroman, a turn that may be read as a means of at once interrogating and perpetuating the form. McWilliams's book furthers our understanding of subjectivity in Atwood's fiction and contributes to ongoing conversations about the role gender and cultural contexts play in reframing generic boundaries.
Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction takes a new look at the complex relationship between Margaret Atwood's fiction and feminist politics.Examining in detail the concerns and choices of an author who has frequently been termed feminist but has famously rejected the label on many occasions, this book traces the influences of feminism in Atwood's work and simultaneously plots moments of dissent or debate. Fiona Tolan presents a clear and detailed study of the first eleven novels of one of Canada's most prominent authors. Each chapter can be read as an individual textual analysis, whilst the chronological structure provides a fascinating insight into the shifting concerns of a popular and influential author over a period of nearly thirty-five years.
Gothic forms of feminine fictions is a study of the powers of the Gothic in late twentieth-century fiction and film. Susanne Becker argues that the Gothic, two hundred years after it emerged, exhibits renewed vitality in our media age with its obsession for stimulation and excitement. Today's globalised entertainment culture, relying on soaps, reality TV shows, celebrity and excess, is reflected in the emotional trajectory of the Gothic's violence, eroticism and sentimental excess. Gothic forms of feminine fictions discusses a wide range of anglophone Gothic romances, from the classics through pulp fictions to a postmodern Gothica. This timely and original study is a major contribution to gender and genre theory as well as cultural criticism of the contemporary. It will appeal to scholars in a wide range of fields and become essential for students of the Gothic, contemporary fiction - particularly Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood - and popular culture.