Group Read: Atwood in April

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Group Read: Atwood in April

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1mathgirl40
Edited: Apr 8, 2010, 4:29pm

In April, join us for a Margaret Atwood group read. Choose any of her titles and discuss here.

There is also an Atwoodians group (http://www.librarything.com/groups/atwoodians) for Margaret Atwood fans.

April update:
Please feel free to start new threads for any individual work. These are the existing ones:
Cat's Eye
Year of the Flood
Alias Grace
Blind Assassin
Oryx and Crake
The Robber Bride

2mathgirl40
Sep 11, 2009, 5:32pm

I hope I'm not jumping the gun, but there was such a good response to the "Atwood in April" suggestion that I thought I'd start the thread early.

Which Atwood work(s) are you planning to read in April? I'm hoping to attend her reading in Kitchener, Ontario in a couple of weeks and I'm going to pick up Year of the Flood before then. I'm tentatively planning to save this for the April group read, but I'm not sure I can be that disciplined. If I break into it before April, then I'll read either The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus or The Robber Bride.

3GingerbreadMan
Sep 11, 2009, 5:51pm

I'm reading Robber bride as part of my "Moldy ones" category. I like Atwood (even though I'm not so die hard as many other challenge participants), but this book has still managed to collect dust on our bookshelves for over ten years!

Looking forward to Atwood April.

4AnnieMod
Sep 11, 2009, 6:09pm

Year of the Flood for sure, most likely Oryx and Crake before it. Considering that I've never read anything by her, I might end up reading a few more - especially if I like these two.

5VictoriaPL
Sep 11, 2009, 6:12pm

I'll be reading The Handmaid's Tale.

6calm
Sep 12, 2009, 4:52am

I'm in but have not decided which Atwood I will be reading. I have Year of the Flood on my wishlist;a TBR copy of Alias Grace that I would need to keep unread until next April, or just wait and see what else comes my way by then. I am trying to avoid re-reads counting for the 1010:(

7chrine
Sep 13, 2009, 2:10am

Hola ya'll. I am interesting in trying an Atwood in April. For those of you who have read her before, I'd like to know which books you liked?, which you'd recommend to someone reading her for the first time?, and why you liked the book(s)? Thanks!

8bella_lee
Sep 13, 2009, 4:14pm

Im in. I've never read Margaret Atwood and really want to try her out. I was going to start with The Handmaid's Tale but I'm open to recs as I'd like to read 2-3 of her books.

9Cait86
Sep 13, 2009, 4:58pm

Ok, so I am no Atwood expert, but here are the books of hers that I have read:

The Handmaid's Tale - probably one of her more well-known works. It is a dystopian novel about a woman named Offred, who is a handmaid - basically a woman whose function in society is to have babies for her owner. It has been a few years since I read it, but I remember liking it. Obviously the role of women is an important theme, but really, all of Atwood's books are about some aspect of femininity.

Alias Grace - fantastic novel based on a real person, Grace Marks, who is convicted of murder in Victorian Toronto. Written like a Victorian novel; slow, very descriptive. Atwood uses a quilt motif - each section is named for a different quilting pattern, and the plot is sewed together like a quilt. Highly recommended.

The Blind Assassin - my fav Atwood so far. Won the Booker Prize. Another long novel, with a very involved narrative structure. Basically, there are four narratives. 1: Iris, the main character, in her old age. 2: Iris' life as a child and young woman. 3: "The Blind Assassin", a novel written by Iris' sister. 4: The two characters in "The Blind Assassin" write a sci-fi story together. One of my favourite books ever, but it is a tough one.

Cat's Eye - another goodie. Long, but easy to read. Atwood looks at girlhood, and the horrible things 8-11 year old "friends" do to each other.

Surfacing - an early Atwood, and it is much shorter than the four novels listed above. Not my favourite, as it is quite experimental, but good for comparing early-Atwood to late-Atwood.

The Tent - a collection of short stories, sketches, and poetry. Quick to read, but thought-provoking, and shows that Atwood can do just about everything.

I would also recommend her poetry, which I absolutely love. She was a poet before a novelist, and has also written some non-fiction too.

I have an entire Atwood category, so April will probably be all-Atwood-all-the-time!

10Cait86
Sep 13, 2009, 4:59pm

Oh, and I have written review of all the above, except The Handmaid's Tale, if anyone is interested. They are all posted on the books' pages.

11chrine
Sep 14, 2009, 2:11am

Thanks Cait. I think I actually read The Handmaid's Tale a long time ago. Not completely sure. Alias Grace and The Blind Assassin sound the most interesting to me from those on your list. I enjoy books with interesting narrative structures. I will confess that I'm not the hugest fan of poetry though.

12rainpebble
Sep 14, 2009, 11:57am

I am going to chime in and do the "Atwood in April" challenge with you all by reading Alias Grace. The only Atwood I have read to present is The Penelopiad, which I loved!~! I hope Alias Grace is as good.
See you in April. **must write it on calendar**
belva

13RidgewayGirl
Sep 15, 2009, 1:57pm

The Handmaid's Tale is her most famous work, Alias Grace may be the most accessible for those who like historical fiction, and don't forget her short stories!

14calm
Edited: Sep 15, 2009, 2:22pm

One of the things I love about Atwood is that she has written so many different things. The central premise is usually the role of women within societies but that can cover so many different genres - mythology The Penelopiad; crime Alias Grace; Speculative Fiction The Handmaid's Tale; contemporary fiction The Edible Woman - her first novel, written in the 1960's, short and often overlooked. I could go on but I do not think I should be sticking her work in labelled boxes.

15GingerbreadMan
Sep 15, 2009, 2:37pm

I'm a sucker for a good dystopia, and so I really liked The handmaid's tale (Tjänarinnans berättelse in Swedish). But my favourite Atwood is without a doubt Oryx and Crake - so far. I've only read four.

16LauraBrook
Sep 15, 2009, 11:07pm

I'll be reading The Handmaid's Tale as it's the one that I own. I'm assuming that I'll be reading more Atwood once I finish THT, though.

17Nickelini
Sep 16, 2009, 11:48pm

The more Atwood I read, the more I love her writing. My first was Oryx and Crake, which I really liked. I agree that The Handmaid's Tale is her best-known, and while I thought it was very good, it was definitely not my favourite (I read it as part of a whole dystopian series, and it didn't stand out at the time). My favs are probably Alias Grace and The Robber Bride. The Penelopiad was also good, but I wasn't so crazy about Surfacing (short but difficult and distancing). Don't forget her non-fiction--I found Negotiating With the Dead quite inspiring.

18katrinasreads
Sep 26, 2009, 11:35am

I'll be reading Alias Grace in April and possibly The Robber Bride, I have had both since I read The Handmaid's Tale when I was 17 (11 yrs ago) and felt the need to go out and buy everything I could get my hands on.

19Rhinoa
Sep 29, 2009, 8:07am

I'm going to do a Canadian authors category which is just for Charles de Lint and Margaret Atwood. I will make sure to read some of hers in April. I am not sure yet, so far I have read The Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassin, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake, Bodily Harm and The Penelopiad. I might read her new one The Year of the Flood. We shall have to wait and see :)

20NeverStopTrying
Sep 29, 2009, 12:03pm

Since this will be my first Atwood ever, I would like to start with her first novel, understanding when it was written and that it was her first. Expect to enjoy everybody else's comments on her later works.

21mathgirl40
Sep 29, 2009, 4:31pm

Wow, great to see so many people joining the group read, and it's especially nice to see some non-Canadians here. I can't wait for April to come!

22beatles1964
Sep 30, 2009, 7:24am

I notice that no oner has mentioned the book Life Before Man yet.It's one of her books I've been meaning to getting around to eventually reading. I think they're all good suggestions and I too can't wait for Atwood in April to begin.

Beatles1964

23chrine
Sep 30, 2009, 10:50pm

A friend of mine had a yard sale before moving. After the sale, she let me go through all the books she didn't sell and have any ones that I wanted. So I now have a copy of The Handmaid's Tale, which I may or may not have read already, for Atwood April.

24clfisha
Oct 6, 2009, 8:20am

I have never read any Atwood before at the moment I am drawn to The Robber Bride or The Penelopiad, but any recommendations welcome!

25GingerbreadMan
Oct 6, 2009, 4:41pm

24 With your tastes for the fantastic, clfisha, I'm guessing any of the dystopias might be worth checking out for you.

26clfisha
Oct 6, 2009, 5:29pm

You have a good point GingerBreadMan, thanks. The Handmaids Tale never appealed to me for some reason but I can't think of reason why I couldn't try one of others.

27LauraBrook
Oct 6, 2009, 7:16pm

I can't seem to find my copy of The Handmaid's Tale anywhere, so courtesy of a "much needed" trip to Half Price Books, I now own The Blind Assassin and The Penelopiad. Never having read Atwood before, is there one I should read over the other?

28Belladonna1975
Dec 6, 2009, 2:21am

I will be reading The Handmaid's Tale, Bluebeard's Egg and maybe The Robber's Bride since those are 3 that I already own and will fit nicely into my 1010 categories and my TBR Challenge.

29teelgee
Dec 6, 2009, 2:29am

I'll be reading The Robber Bride. I thought I'd read it, but when I read synopses of it, there's nothing familiar about it, so it will be a new Atwood experience for me. Also hoping to get The Year of the Flood. I've loved almost everything of hers I've read. (Agree, Surfacing was not engaging.)

30MissDotty
Dec 6, 2009, 5:36pm

I would like to join in with an Atwood in April! I have The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin so will decide which one to read nearer the time.

31wonderlake
Dec 8, 2009, 6:41pm

Yup, I also have M. Atwood as one of my challenge authors (under 1001 caegory). Initially I put Alias Grace down, but then I saw a guy reading The Blind Assassin on the tube so maybe I'll go for that instead ...I also have The Robber Bride TBR, and also Oryx and Crake- but this is not in the 1001 books

32Nickelini
Dec 8, 2009, 8:40pm

Most likely I will read Cat's Eye, but I own several unread Atwoods, so I'll see how I feel in April.

33Miela
Dec 9, 2009, 12:03am

I'm going to do Alias Grace and possibly Surfacing, even though I can't figure out how to work the second one on my list. (I bought it at the library book sale and could use an excuse to read it.)

34KAzevedo
Dec 10, 2009, 10:09pm

I recently added Oryx and Crake to my wishlist, so that is the one I plan (for now) to read in April. I know I read one of hers many years ago, but I can't remember which. Another reason I am so happy to have found LT!

35mathgirl40
Dec 11, 2009, 7:17am

Wow, it's great that there are so many people doing Atwood in April! I've been tempted to open my copy of Year of the Flood but I'm going to save it for the group read.

36VictoriaPL
Dec 11, 2009, 9:26am

Just some thoughts....

Does anyone know if the Atwood group is participating with us?

Maybe we could get Abby or Sonya to make a note about Atwood in April on the Announcement module at the beginning of April.

37beatles1964
Dec 11, 2009, 1:26pm

I'm thinking of reading Life Before Man in April for the Margaret Atwood group read.

Beatles1964

38elliepotten
Dec 14, 2009, 11:26am

I'm in, but I'm not sure which one I'll be reading yet. I've never read any Atwood before so I'm adding her to my 'new to me' category. I think I have one or two of hers at home, and they come through the shop regularly - and I'm planning to maybe buy The Handmaid's Tale or The Penelopiad soon anyway... I guess I'll decide nearer the time!

39VisibleGhost
Dec 14, 2009, 11:48am

I have decided on Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth for the Atwood April. I don't believe I have ever read any Atwood non-fiction.

40socialpages
Edited: Dec 14, 2009, 6:09pm

I'm going to read The Edible Woman Atwood's first novel. If time permits, I'll have a look at some of her non-fiction.

41AnnieMod
Dec 15, 2009, 4:20am

I am collecting any Atwood I can get my hands on now - knowing how I read, I might be able to read a few books in April :)

42mathgirl40
Dec 15, 2009, 6:46am

36: Thanks for reminding me about the Atwood group. I posted a message there telling the members about our group read.

43lauranav
Dec 15, 2009, 6:17pm

I'm in. I've never read any Atwood so I look forward to April. I am thinking I may start with Oryx and Crake, but it doesn't sound like I can go wrong with any of them.

44VictoriaPL
Dec 18, 2009, 1:21pm

>42 mathgirl40: Thanks! I've also left some messages for other groups that do author-themed reads and let them know we'd welcome anyone who wants to read along in April.

45pamelad
Dec 18, 2009, 2:54pm

Joining in for Atwood in April. Cat's Eye has been sitting on the shelf for a few years now.

46calm
Edited: Dec 18, 2009, 4:58pm

Couldn't wait and borrowed Year of the Flood from the library so I'll be reading that in the next couple of weeks. I'll still join in Atwood in April - I've got a few others on my shelves!

47divinenanny
Dec 25, 2009, 8:13am

I couldn't wait either, and just read The Handmaid's Tale, my first Atwood. I might still get Year of the Flood to join you all in April :D

48susiesharp
Mar 2, 2010, 3:11pm

Looks like I'm going to save Alias Grace till April.And bumped this up so people remember there's a thread already.I had to search for it!

49Jenson_AKA_DL
Mar 2, 2010, 3:39pm

So far it looks like I'll be the only one reading Wilderness Tips. This might be the book I bring with me on my NYC trip on April 10th. Four hours both ways should give me a good start!

50susiesharp
Mar 2, 2010, 5:26pm

Well I've never read Atwood before but have been hearing so much about her and I found Alias Grace on BM so I thought I'd start there.

51RidgewayGirl
Mar 2, 2010, 5:31pm

Alias Grace is an excellent book, and a good introduction to Atwood. I'm looking forward to reading at least two of her books next month.

52benitastrnad
Mar 9, 2010, 10:15am

Turns out that I have my pick of Atwood books to read for April. I have Cat's Eye, Alias Grace, and Blind Assassin. After looking them all over I think I will pick Blind Assassin for the April read.

53KAzevedo
Edited: Mar 9, 2010, 4:12pm

I had originally planned to read Oryx and Crake, but haven't found it yet. I was able to get three of hers at a library sale so I have to choose from The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, or The Robber Bride. Since this will be my first Atwood, I'd like to choose based on either the one most are reading, or the best introduction to her work.

54Belladonna1975
Mar 9, 2010, 4:05pm

I have Handmaid's Tale, Lady Oracle, Robber Bride, Dancing Girls and Bluebeard's Egg. I haven't decided which one I will be reading yet either. I was kind of waiting to see what everyone else was going to pick. I might end up reading 2 or 3 since we are giving her a whole month!

55MarthaJeanne
Edited: Mar 9, 2010, 5:45pm

The one I have handy is Handmaid's Tale, which is great, but I might check the school library and see what else they have. Actually even easier: I see that our local library has several of her books in English, so i could borrow The Blind Assassin, Oryx und Crake, or
Alias Grace.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/4041# is a good place to look for adviice on what to read.

56teelgee
Mar 9, 2010, 11:14pm

>53 KAzevedo: KAzevedo: I think as the best intro to her work, I'd suggest The Handmaid's Tale. I haven't read The Robber Bride yet (that's my pick for April) but have read all the others. You really can't go wrong with either Alias Grace or Handmaid, but I wouldn't start with Oryx and Crake. It's a great book but I don't think it's a good intro to her.

57Nickelini
Mar 9, 2010, 11:19pm

Not one to disagree with the wise Teelgee, but I just want to say that life (being the way life can be) brought Oryx and Crake to me before any other Atwood book, and I thought it was great and still turned into a big Atwood fan. So it wasn't a disaster. That said, I agree that you could do better for your first book . . . I loved Alias Grace and the Robber Bride.

The Handmaid's Tale was really great too, but I read it in the midst of a slew of other distopian fiction, so it didn't stand out for me.

58teelgee
Mar 9, 2010, 11:25pm

I'm trying to recall a book I think was written by Atwood about three sisters and their father and some huge betrayal. Does that ring any bells with anyone? I was thinking it was The Robber Bride, but from the descriptions, it doesn't sound like it.

Middle-aged memory is just so ... interesting.

59KAzevedo
Mar 10, 2010, 1:35pm

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. Since I read fantasy routinely, and have recently read a dystopian novel, I think I will go with Alias Grace. It's so great to be at the beginning of an author's work with so many to look forward to.

60benitastrnad
Mar 10, 2010, 5:12pm

Oryx and Crake was the first Atwood book I read. I didn't think it was all that great, because I am not generally a big fan of dystopian novels. (However, Cloud Atlas was an exception as I loved that book.) I did like Oryx and Crake enough to purchase other Atwood books. Like most of my other books the three by Atwood that I have, have set on the shelves long enough. It is time to read one. Besides, it will help me on my books-off-the-shelf challenge. I have friends who really like Atwood's work and so I am looking forward to reading another of her books.

61billiejean
Mar 11, 2010, 7:16pm

I would like to join in, too. I have Alias Grace on my tbr.
--BJ

62divinenanny
Mar 12, 2010, 1:59am

I think I will be able to join in. Oryx and Crake will be my Atwood for April

63mathgirl40
Mar 12, 2010, 8:45am

Glad to see there's so much interest in this group read! I'm saving Year of the Flood for April, and I've managed to resist cracking it open these past few months.

64susiesharp
Mar 23, 2010, 3:04pm

I was able to get the Blind Assassin from ILL on audio and I may have to read this one instead I'm very confused already because of the whole book in a book thing.I think it may be easier to read then to listen to.

65billiejean
Mar 23, 2010, 3:23pm

So we start reading April 1st? Is there any deadline?
--BJ

66Nickelini
Mar 23, 2010, 9:21pm

April 30? Though I don't think there are any LT police to come raise a fuss if you post after that.

67MarthaJeanne
Mar 25, 2010, 4:15am

I picked up The Year of the Flood and The Edible woman at the library yesterday.

68susiesharp
Mar 25, 2010, 6:26pm

Well I will for sure be reading Alias Grace but I figured out I'm going to have to find The Blind Assassin in book form.The audio book was way too confusing!

69teelgee
Mar 25, 2010, 6:43pm

>68 susiesharp: yeah, I can't quite imagine following that one via audio! It's a great read, though.

70susiesharp
Mar 25, 2010, 7:36pm

>69 teelgee: ya I didn't know who was talking or what was going on then there was the obituaries I was so confused!I listened to the first cd and gave up but am going to order the book through ILL

71VisibleGhost
Apr 2, 2010, 9:35am

I started off Atwood In April by reading her review of E.O. Wilson's Anthill which was published in The New York Review of books. It is available online so I posted it on Anthill's workpage. I thought it was a good review that revealed her sly understated amusements in her reading of the book.

72calm
Apr 2, 2010, 10:27am

I'm reading Bluebeard's Egg - two stories done so far. I have a few more of Atwood's books on the TBR - I think that next up is Cat's Eye. If I have time this month other possibilities are Alias Grace; Surfacing and The Blind Assassin.

73KAzevedo
Apr 2, 2010, 2:18pm

I'll be ready to start Alias Grace tomorrow. How is this going to work; especially as we all are reading several different books. I don't want to hear too much about books I haven't read yet.

74Cait86
Apr 2, 2010, 2:26pm

Even though I'm not doing the 1010 anymore (no time!), I'm still looking forward to devoting April to Atwood. I'll definitely read Circle Game, a collection of her poetry, and Oryx and Crake. If I have time, I'll try Year of the Flood and The Robber Bride.

75teelgee
Apr 2, 2010, 2:47pm

Right now I'm reading her short story collection Moral Disorder, which also satisfies a couple of challenges (I love multi-tasking!). Will be reading The Robber Bride a little later in the month.

76MarthaJeanne
Apr 2, 2010, 3:11pm

I started reading The Edible woman today. I meant to only read a few chapters, but the book seems to be half finished already.

77susiesharp
Apr 2, 2010, 3:14pm

#73- I agree should there be separate threads for each book?
I'm reading Alias Grace as soon as I get done with Silverborne!

78benitastrnad
Apr 2, 2010, 6:16pm

I think we should have separate threads for each book. In other group reads I have participated in the "owner" of the group - the person who started it - sets up the general thread. (I think that is this one) In the general thread there are instructions about the group read and links to the various threads.

I think it is clear in this group that there are enough readers for each book to have its own thread. Perhaps the short story readers could have one thread for those books, if there is more than one title in that category. Those of us who are reading the same titles would check in on that title and make our comments as we feel lead to do so. Since there are four full weeks in April perhaps we could devote the last week to a discussion of Atwood's work back in a wrap-up thread.

I don't know how to set up threads, and right now don't have the time to figure it out, otherwise I would set up a thread for those of us reading Blind Assassin. Perhaps somebody out there with more know-how than I could put a link in this thread for a seperate one for Blind Assassin?

Seems like there are also a number of people reading the following Atwood titles - Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood, Robber Bride, Alias Grace, Cat's Eye, Handmaids Tale, and the short story people Moral Disorder. I might have missed a title, but it seems that making a schedule and dividing the group would simplify the process while satisfying those who don't like spoilers for books they haven't read.

Got any volunteer to set up these threads?

79Nickelini
Apr 2, 2010, 7:10pm

I don't know how to set up threads,

From the group home page, at the top of the threads, click on Post a New Topic. It takes about 10 seconds to set up a thread.

Anyway, I started one for Cat's Eye because that's what I'll be reading later this month. I called it: April Group Read: Atwood's Cat's Eye. I think it's important to say "group read" and the month is nice, and then the author's name and the book title.

80AHS-Wolfy
Apr 3, 2010, 12:53am

If there's going to be one for each book, would it not be better to set up a new group? Probably easier to find specific threads that way as well.

81teelgee
Apr 3, 2010, 3:45am

>80 AHS-Wolfy: It would be a short lived group, just for April and I think the LT gurus frown on that sort of group creation. Groups are so out of control now. I think if each thread subject is well labeled, it wouldn't be problematic finding them.

82mathgirl40
Apr 3, 2010, 8:40am

78: I'd set up the original group, but don't really feel like an "owner". I'm happy to go with whatever people want to do. In any case, I think it's reasonable to follow Nickelini's lead and start new threads entitled: "April Group Read: Atwood's ...." That will make the threads easy to find, and I'll add links from the first message.

I'd still be happy to see lots of discussion in this thread about Atwood works in general. Less popular ones that won't attract enough people for its own thread can also be discussed here.

I have to admit that, when I first proposed the group read, I chose one that covered all of Atwood's works because I didn't think any one of her works would attract enough readers. I honestly hadn't realized how popular she is outside of Canada!

84mathgirl40
Apr 3, 2010, 10:07am

83: I've added the Alias Grace link to the first message. Loved that novel, BTW!

I'll be out of town for a couple of days and will be online infrequently, so please be patient if I don't add any new links right away.

85MarthaJeanne
Apr 4, 2010, 2:10am

Finished The Edible Woman. I'm not sure enjoyed is the right word. Let's say I found it very interesting. What I found spooky is the dystopian side to a realistic novel set in the present.

86NeverStopTrying
Apr 4, 2010, 9:34am

Am almost finished Surfacing. It's been growing on me. I am finding it fascinating and that is enjoyable.

87benitastrnad
Apr 4, 2010, 9:13pm

OK I started a separate thread for Blind Assassin. Here is the link for it. I hope this works. If it doesn't I will be calling on the rest of you for help.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/88406

88teelgee
Apr 4, 2010, 10:37pm

It works! Well done.

89mathgirl40
Apr 4, 2010, 10:45pm

87: I've added the link to the first message.

90benitastrnad
Apr 5, 2010, 3:51pm

I thought it might be helpful to post a short biography of Atwood. This information comes from Wikipedia and I realize that all of you could log into Wikipedia and find it out for yourself. However, for the sake of convenience, I am putting the short version here for all of us to read. It may give us some background information about the author so that we can understand a little of where she is coming from.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC, O.Ont, FRSC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian author, poet, critic, essayist, feminist and social campaigner. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias award for Literature, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once for the Blind Assassin, and has been a finalist for the Governor General's Award seven times, winning twice. While she may be best known for her work as a novelist, she is also an award winning poet, having published 15 books of poetry to date. Many of her poems have been inspired by myths and fairy tales, which were an interest of hers from an early age. Atwood has also published short stories in Tamarack Review, Alphabet, Harper's, CBC Anthology, Ms., Saturday Night, Playboy, and many other magazines. She has one child, born to her and her partner Graeme Gibson.

Atwood is very politically active and many of her books reflect this activism. Although Atwood's politics are commonly described as being left wing, she has indicated in interviews that she considers herself a Red Tory in the historical sense of the term. Atwood and her partner Graeme Gibson are currently members of the Green Party of Canada and strong supporters of GPC leader Elizabeth May, whom Atwood has referred to as fearless, honest, reliable and knowledgeable. In the 2008 federal election she attended a rally for the Bloc Québécois, a Quebec separatist party, because of her support for their position on the arts, and stated that she would vote for the party if she lived in Quebec. In a Globe and Mail editorial, she urged Canadians to vote for any other party to stop a Conservative majority.

Atwood has strong views on environmental issues,such as suggesting that gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers be banned, and has made her own home more energy efficient by installing awnings and skylights that open, and by not having air-conditioning. She and her partner also use a hybrid car when they are in the city.

During the debate in 1987 over a free trade agreement between Canada and the United States, Atwood spoke out against the deal, including an essay she wrote opposing the agreement.

Atwood celebrated her 70th birthday at a gala dinner at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, marking the final stop of her international tour to promote The Year of the Flood. She stated that she had chosen to attend the event because the city has been home to one of Canada's most ambitious environmental reclamation programs: "When people ask if there's hope (for the environment), I say, if Sudbury can do it, so can you. Having been a symbol of desolation, it's become a symbol of hope."

91clfisha
Apr 6, 2010, 8:47am

Just finished (and enjoyed) Oryx and Crake, I see some others have read/were planning to read this one, so I have started a thread over at:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/88500

Now I think I might now go and find a copy of the Year of the Flood!

92mathgirl40
Apr 6, 2010, 9:37am

91: I've added the link for the Oryx and Crake thread to the first message. Please do pick up a copy of Year of the Flood. I'd love to have some company reading this!

93clfisha
Apr 6, 2010, 10:01am

oops my bad, thanks!

94mathgirl40
Apr 6, 2010, 10:04am

93: No "bad", I think. I believe I'm the only one who can edit the first message, since I was the author. So this is the right procedure. Start a new thread, post in this forum with the link, and I'll add the link to the first message to make it easier to find.

95MarthaJeanne
Apr 7, 2010, 2:18am

I'm into Year of the Flood. Very interesting.

96GingerbreadMan
Apr 8, 2010, 3:55pm

Just started The robber bride and set up a thread. Come join me! It's here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/88834&newpost=1#lastmsg

97calm
Apr 8, 2010, 3:59pm

Finished my first Atwood of the month Bluebeard's Egg - it doesn't fit into any of my 1010 categories but I really liked it.

98mathgirl40
Apr 8, 2010, 4:30pm

96: Link added to first message. This is one I haven't read yet. Maybe I'll join you later in the month, after I get through Year of the Flood.

99divinenanny
Apr 9, 2010, 5:31am

I finished my Atwood (my second ever), Oryx and Crake and loved it. I need more Atwood ;)

100VictoriaPL
Apr 10, 2010, 12:47pm

I started The Handmaid's Tale last night and am enjoying it!

101OneMorePage
Apr 16, 2010, 11:47pm

Love Atwood, read all of these already.

Oryx and Crake was one of the finest books I ever read. I thought about it for years after. Still do.

102socialpages
Apr 17, 2010, 5:42pm

I read one of Margaret Atwood's lesser known titles, Life Before Man and her first book, The Edible Woman. If anyone else is reading these books, I would be happy to set up a discussion group.

I found Life before Man to be quite depressing and I understand why it's not as well known. There is not much plot and the book is largely driven by three main characters: an indecisive husband, control freak wife and a girl who dreams of living with dinosaurs. All three have issues with their parents/grandparents.

Here is my review of The Edible Woman SPOILER ALERT!!!

Margaret Atwood's first published novel about a young woman, Marian, who is college educated but feels stuck in a job with little prospect of promotion and whose only alternative is to marry and devote herself to home and husband. Marian becomes engaged to Peter and afterwards finds she is unable to eat certain foods. It starts with steak, then all meat and gradually she finds most food makes her nauseous.

Marian's character is sensible and conformist as she tries to meet the expectations of friends, family and work colleagues but this effort causes her to break away from convention and spend time with a self-involved grad student. Her inability to eat coincides with her lack of control over her life (she allows her fiancee to make all the decisions) it is only after she regains control that she is able to eat. Her first meal is a cake she bakes in the shape of a woman.

The Edible Woman deals with the limited life choices available to women in the 1960s.

103benitastrnad
Apr 19, 2010, 4:00pm

I finished reading Blind Assassin this weekend. It was great. However, I have one really really important question I would like an answer for.

The copy of my book as a picture of a classy dame dressed in 1930's formal attire on the dust jacket. She is a brunette. However, the two main characters in the story are both blonde. Who is the woman on the cover? Or what is she supposed to represent?

Did the book designers or the editors of this book ever read it? How could they have made such a mistake?

104RidgewayGirl
Apr 19, 2010, 6:41pm

I'm joining in a little late, but I pulled out my copy of Oryx and Crake and started it today. I had been intimidated by the cover, but having finally begun, I am really enjoying it.

105calm
Apr 20, 2010, 4:38am

Forgot to say that I finished reading Cat's Eye earlier this month. I have now started Surfacing.

106MarthaJeanne
Edited: Apr 20, 2010, 6:28am

I've finished Edible Woman and Year of the Flood so far. I expect to start The Handmaid’s Tale today, and have three more waiting their turns.

107mathgirl40
Apr 20, 2010, 8:35am

I've been travelling a lot in April and was looking for Margaret Atwood e-books to put on my e-reader for the April group read. After some searching, I am totally appalled by how hard it is to buy her e-books in Canada! (I only found three of them available.) Note that I'm looking for ePub or pdf, as I don't have a Kindle. If the books weren't available in e-book form at all, I'd understand. However, a good number are available if you're purchasing from the US or UK.

Pardon the rant, but I think it's ridiculous that you can't get e-books written by one of Canada's most famous writers if you live in Canada. I e-mailed McClelland, her publisher, last week to ask about the availability, but I haven't received a reply yet.

108psutto
Apr 20, 2010, 11:34am

Read the Handmaids Tale review on my 101010 thread

first Atwood, really enjoyed it, will definitely track down some more Atwood now

109calm
Apr 21, 2010, 6:59am

I finished Surfacing. Very intense.

I've come to the conclusion that Atwood is best read in small doses, allowing time to think about each book. I'll see how I feel in a few days, but, if I read any more Atwood this month, it will either be a re-read (maybe The Handmaid's Tale or The Penelopiad) or I might try Alias Grace.

110Nickelini
Apr 21, 2010, 10:21am

I finally had time to start Cat's Eye, but I probably won't get back to it until next week. That's still April.

111GingerbreadMan
Apr 21, 2010, 11:15am

Finished The robber bride yesterday. A decent read, but the constant threefold retelling of the same events bogged it down for me. Was also a little annoyed that Atwood settled for cardboard cutouts when it came to all male characters. I've liked all the four Atwood books I've read before more.

112RidgewayGirl
Apr 21, 2010, 3:32pm

I was blown away by Oryx and Crake. I'm going to try to read another Atwood this month - maybe a book of short stories.

113benitastrnad
Apr 27, 2010, 1:14pm

I finished Blind Assassin two weeks ago and we had an interesting discussion about it on that thread. It is one of those books that will keep me thinking for some time to come. I thought it was a very good book and have added it to my favorites list.

This is my second Atwood book. My first was Oryx and Crake and I do see some common threads between the two books. Science Fiction is an element in both. In one it was a literary device as a book within a book. In the other it was the genre. The two books are also about distopian worlds. One a distopia in the real world and the other a created distopian world in the Sci/Fi genre.

In writing style the two books were very different. Oryx was a narrative while Blind Assassin was told from different viewpoints in time and jumped back and forth.

The two books were also written at different points in Atwoods career. One was an early book and the other Oryx was later in her writing. I liked Blind Assassin much better. It was a much more complicated story and much more innovative in style and structure.

114divinenanny
Apr 27, 2010, 2:51pm

Glad you liked Blind Assassin better, because I loved Oryx and Crake so this should be a good one. On to the wishlist it goes...

115benitastrnad
Apr 28, 2010, 2:43pm

Over on our Blind Assassin thread we were discussing the title of the book and wondered who was the blind assassin? Or was anybody the blind assassin? Perhaps some of you who have read the book in the past might be able to answer that question for us.

116mathgirl40
Edited: Apr 28, 2010, 9:19pm

Just finished Year of the Flood and am reading The Tent in these last few days of the group read. Anyone planning to continue reading Atwood into May?

117MarthaJeanne
Apr 29, 2010, 4:45am

Yes. So far I have read The Edible Woman, The Year of the Flood, and The Handmaid's Tale. I gave up on Cat's Eye.
I have two more here, ready to read, (Oryx and Crake and Alias Grace) and think I can find more.

118Nickelini
Apr 29, 2010, 10:31am

MarthaJeanne - I liked both Oryx and Crake and Alias Grace better than Cat's Eye.

119calm
Apr 30, 2010, 8:17am

I managed to read 4 books for Atwood in April. My favourite was Alias Grace which I finished this morning (UK time). I also read Bluebeard's Egg; Cat's Eye and Surfacing. I'll definitely be reading more of her work as I already have The Blind Assassin and The Robber Bride on my TBR pile and every intention of collecting all her novels. I still haven't read any of her poetry or nonfiction but hope to get to them one day.

120MarthaJeanne
May 22, 2010, 2:33pm

I just finished Lady Oracle.

I've had dreams like this - when the doctor had me on opiates. The main character has a disfunctional life, as in many Atwoods, but this time she seems to call most of it on herself. She makes her way through a web of varying fictions, until it is unclear whether the main story of her life is another fiction she is telling, or a fiction she is living.

121MarthaJeanne
Jul 22, 2010, 12:40pm

Just finished my 10th Atwood. Rude Ramsay and the roaring radishes. I highly recommend it.