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Jude's avatar

What are your thoughts on Margaret Atwood? What is your favorite novel or poem by her?

Asked by Jude (32134points) June 11th, 2011

My SO and I were in an Irish Pub last night and met a cute science nerd. He was a biologist and he was studying the effects of windmill turbines on bats and birds (he’s able to count birds by hearing them -very cool). He was also reading Margaret Atwood. He said that he has read almost all of what she has written. Such a cute, interesting guy. My girlfriend introduced him to Tom Robbins. (her favorite writer). Anyway, as far as Atwood. what do you like by her?

I am extremely hungover and perhaps what I have written doesn’t make a lot of sense. My apologies.

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18 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorites by her. I think you’d like it, @Jude .

laureth's avatar

I, too, am a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale. Perhaps it could be rewritten for current events.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Cute story about the meeting in the Irish pub.

A 3rd vote for The Handmaid’s Tale. I also liked The Robber Bride.

JilltheTooth's avatar

On this note, I have Oryx and Crake, just haven’t read it yet. Any thoughts about it, folks? This will also benefit @Jude‘s Q

incendiary_dan's avatar

Oryx and Crake, as well as the partner book which happens at the same time, Year of the Flood, are fantastic. In fact, I preferred the latter, maybe because I read it first, it was more obviously toned with feminism (like all of her writing I’ve read), and it had plenty of survivalist themes mixed in.

The Handmaid’s Tale is also a great novel.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Oryx and Crake was one of those books that changed the way I think. I’ve read maybe half of Atwood’s novels and my wife has probably read all of them, after discovering her through the Blind Assassin (also a great novel).

JilltheTooth's avatar

Damn. Breaking that puppy out right away then! Thanks!
And i also loved Blind Assassin. Good call, that!

muppetish's avatar

I haven’t read much by Margaret Atwood, but her poem You Begin is lovely.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Is all of her stuff dystopian, or just Handmaid’s Tale?

incendiary_dan's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs The Oryx and Crake ones are definitely dystopian. I can’t say beyond those and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Well, that’s not true. I bought my nephew one of her children’s books. From what I can tell, there were no dystopian themes, unless Rude Rudy and his alliterative rhythmic romp was deeper than I thought. :)

lloydbird's avatar

I have seen her on TV and heard her on the radio a few times. I have yet to read any of her works. But my impression of her is that she is an authoritative and decent individual.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The Robber Bride isn’t dystopian. It is a riveting tale of female friends who, over time, have their husbands seduced by one of the women in the group, and how it impacts the lives of all involved, except for the instigator. It was a riveting read.

Jeruba's avatar

I liked The Handmaid’s Tale. I liked Cat’s Eye, but I no longer remember much about it.

I didn’t care for The Robber Bride because I didn’t like any of the main characters. I found The Blind Assassin curious but ultimately annoying, more an author entertaining herself by seeing what she could get away with than an author crafting a story that earned its share of my time and attention.

Ladymia69's avatar

Funny you asked, I am actually reading “The Edible Woman” right now…I really, really want to like it, but I am finding it extremely pedantic. I am on page 204 and nothing is really happening, it is simply an extremely descriptive account of a woman’s day-to-day life and her nausea over it. I can appreciate that, but i sort of hoped a transformation was soon to come…we’ll see. maybe it will all tie together in the end…?

LOL, my favorite male writer is Tom Robbins…he tries so hard to relate to women!

perspicacious's avatar

I love “Up In The Tree.” Someone gave it to me when my first was born and both of my kids loved it.

Seelix's avatar

I missed this one! I love Atwood, and often I suggest Cat’s Eye for a first-time reader who’s not looking to analyze but just to enjoy. It’s a coming-of-age type story with a couple of strong female protagonists, and although it’s not her best-written novel, it’s still up there as one of my favourites.

Ladymia69's avatar

@Seelix I finished The Edible Woman, and I have to say, it was fucking boring. It seemed to me very amateurish, and her over-descriptiveness smacked of the actuality that she had no real substance to put into her story. I think it’s one of her first though…it sort of put me off to trying to read any of her other works.

Earthgirl's avatar

I loved A Handmaid’s Tale also. I am not very familiar with her poetry but I also loved the book Alias Grace.
Here is a synopsis of Alias Grace:
In 1843, a 16-year-old Canadian housemaid named Grace Marks was tried for the murder of her employer and his mistress. The sensationalistic trial made headlines throughout the world, and the jury delivered a guilty verdict. Yet opinion remained fiercely divided about Marks—was she a spurned woman who had taken out her rage on two innocent victims, or was she an unwilling victim herself, caught up in a crime she was too young to understand? Such doubts persuaded the judges to commute her sentence to life imprisonment, and Marks spent the next 30 years in an assortment of jails and asylums, where she was often exhibited as a star attraction. In Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood reconstructs Marks’s story in fictional form. Her portraits of 19th-century prison and asylum life are chilling in their detail.

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