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The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

The Edible Woman (1969)

by Margaret Atwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (64)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors. I found this book in a drawer and decided to take it with me on a recent long vacation. It turns out that this was her first novel. It was written in 1965 and not published until 1969. The book takes place probably in Toronto(city is not named) and deals with all of the stereotypes of men and women that existed at that time. I would have probably liked this book more had I read it during the time it was written but because I read it 54 years later I couldn't overcome how dated it was. I do give Atwood credit for attacking these stereotypes but it could not make up for the weakness of the story and characters. I am glad that the book was well received when it came out because it led to the development and career of one of the great authors of our time. If you have not read Margaret Atwood, then you are truly missing out on a great author. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Jun 2, 2019 |
Marian is coasting through life. Things aren't great, but they aren't bad. She has a boring job, an interesting roommate, and a tolerable boyfriend. But deep down she knows something is off. When she and Peter get drunkenly engaged it really starts to show. Suddenly certain foods start to taste off, then they become completely un-consumable. At first it's just meat - fine, she'll become vegetarian. But then it starts spreading. Soon it's certain vegetables, puddings, eggs, cake. The list keeps growing and her waist starts shrinking. But Marian starts to feel as if she's no longer in control of her own life. She feels as if she is the one being consumed. Interesting characters, even though all are unlikable and very neat concept. Superbly written. ( )
  ecataldi | Mar 19, 2019 |
First things first; I haven't read this book since I was 15, but it has stuck with me so strongly that I've refused to pick up another Margaret Atwood book since then.

I can't even comment much on the story beyond the fact that I found the main character vaguely annoying. What really bothered me about this book is the supposed symbolism of the food. It felt like everything was compared to food and eating, and while I understand that was a necessary element of the story, it was too much. By the time I got half way through the book, all I could think was "stop comparing everything to food, it's really, really annoying", this made it almost impossible for me to judge the story, I just found the writing too irritating.

Maybe one day I will try to read another Margaret Atwood book, but I will certainly never try to read this one again. ( )
  Keira666 | Mar 12, 2019 |
The 1991 Bantam Edition's cover features a woman standing in front of her open refrigerator. She has been staring into it so long that she has actually merged into the fridge door. The novel was written in 1969 and explores the life and inner mind of a woman smothered by her engagement to a man she's not sure loves all that much.

more on this title later...

( )
  booksandcats4ever | Jul 30, 2018 |
Atwood bridges the gap between the "woman's experience as horror" genre (Perkins Gilman, Plath) and the modern female-centered narrative of self-determination. This is a classic work of literature, Atwood's first novel, and interestingly, it's been one of the last Atwoods that I've read. I've been doling them out over the years so that they last longer.

The descriptions of the book harp on consumerism, and perhaps Atwood intended to write a novel about consumerism, and instead wrote a classic piece of feminist literature. The main character is not getting any fulfillment out of buying things, but she's also unhappy with the lack of emotional intimacy in her relationship, her boring job, and the tension between her nutty roommate and overbearing landlady. She starts a rather bizarre affair, as if she's staging a different concept of herself. At one point she keeps on asking the people around her if she's normal, and they all reassure her that she's normal, but what she's really looking for is reassurance that she's not normal, that she has something different to offer than what is currently expected of her.

This was the first book I read coming out of 3-4 years of difficulty focusing which turned out to be chronic migraine. I cannot adequately explain the pleasure I took in reading a real (read: complex) novel for the first time in several years. I'm so happy it was this one. ( )
1 vote bexaplex | Jan 1, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Margaret Atwoodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tex, Gideon denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The surface on which you work (preferably marble), the tools, the ingredients and your fingers should be chilled throughout the operation...."
(Recipe for Puff Pastry in I. S. Rombauer and M. R. Becker, The Joy of Cooking.)
For J.
First words
I wrote The Edible Woman in the spring and summer of 1965, on empty examination booklets filched from the University of British Columbia, where I had been teaching freshman English for the previous eight months.
I know I was all right on Friday when I got up; if anything I was feeling more stolid than usual.
I don't see how anyone can love their children till they start to be human beings.
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Book description
Marian is a determinedly ordinary girl, fresh out of university, working at her first job but really only waiting to get married. All goes well at first, she likes her work in market research, and her broody flat-mate Ainsley - even an uncharacteristic sexual fling with the divinely mad Duncan cannot lure her away from her sober fiancé Peter. But Marian reckons without an inner self that wants something more, which talks to her through the food she eats and calmly sabotages her careful plans. Marriage à la mode is something she literally can't stomach.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385491069, Paperback)

Ever since her engagement, the strangest thing has been happening to Marian McAlpin: she can't eat.  First meat.  Then eggs, vegetables, cake, pumpkin seeds--everything!  Worse yet, she has the crazy feeling that she's being eaten.  Marian ought to feel consumed with passion, but she really just feels...consumed.  A brilliant and powerful work rich in irony and metaphor, The Edible Woman is an unforgettable masterpiece by a true master of contemporary literary fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A humorous, ironic, disturbing, and parabolic novel features a woman who, after her engagement to be wed, first loses her appetite and then becomes obsessed with the idea that she herself is being eaten.

» see all 6 descriptions

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