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Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
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Alias Grace (edition 1996)

by Margaret Atwood

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,588228502 (3.94)4 / 996
It is 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?… (more)
Member:lauralkeet
Title:Alias Grace
Authors:Margaret Atwood
Info:Nan A. Talese (1996), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 468 pages
Collections:Removed from Library, North American
Rating:****
Tags:read in 2011, fiction, borrowed, canadian authors, woman authors, women's prize shortlist, booker prize shortlist, 1001, giller prize

Work details

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

  1. 102
    Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue (ainsleytewce, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Based on sensational true crimes of yesteryear, these character-driven historical novels focus on young women whose attempts to escape lives of poverty and abuse lead to violence. Both disturbing, suspenseful books present nuanced psychological portraits of their protagonists.… (more)
  2. 91
    The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (girlunderglass)
    girlunderglass: Both books share the impressive power of beautifully and believably conveying a particular place and time - they make the reader not only understand and love the peculiarities of a particular era, but also temporarily feel part of it.
  3. 30
    Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Polished Hoe portrays conditions in 20th-century Jamaica, while Burial Rites focuses on 19th-century Iceland, but these exquisitely detailed literary historical novels explore the lives of unusually intelligent women whose treatment by their masters has resulted in terrible crimes.… (more)
  4. 30
    His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Both are Booker shortlisted novels that tell the story of a historical crime. Atwood's is based on a real crime.
  5. 30
    Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: It's difficult to explain this recommendation without revealing spoilers for either novel. Both are set in the 19th century, feature strong female narrators and concern a crime - and that's all I can say!
  6. 41
    Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (wonderlake)
  7. 30
    The Ballad of Frankie Silver by Sharyn McCrumb (rbtanger)
    rbtanger: Both are historicals about female murderers. And both are equally haunting and mysterious with a good pull at the beginning and a good twist to the end.
  8. 42
    Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt (KayCliff)
  9. 20
    The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola (JoEnglish)
  10. 10
    The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen (rbtanger)
    rbtanger: The Bone Garden is set a decade earlier than alias Grace, but the atmosphere and feel of the story are very similar.
  11. 11
    Affinity by Sarah Waters (starbox, souloftherose)
  12. 11
    In a Dark Wood Wandering by Hella S. Haasse (AliceWonders)
  13. 11
    A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore (1Owlette)
    1Owlette: Although set at different times and in different countries, both works explore similar themes of isolation, marginalization, and the effect of social pressures upon women's mental states, in haunting, beautiful prose.
  14. 14
    The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (Nickelini)
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English (215)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (228)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
DNF on the audiobook. I love the print book, but the narrator's style on the audio didn't work for me. Sarah Gadon has a lovely voice; however, she reads the entire book in the same style even though it is written from multiple perspectives. It's a totally subjective thing, but I prefer either multiple narrators or a reader who does voices for books. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Oct 3, 2021 |
I loved the ongoing theme of the quilt patterns, the dream symbolism, the secondary characters created with perfect detail and ambiguity, Grace's distinct but impenetrable voice. I guess it's technically a slow-moving novel, but it never felt like it. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
This book was absolutely incredible, based on a 'true' (in the sense that no one seems to know any real facts) story, it is perfectly written and stays true to what was known. Atwood really shows off her talents in this brilliant piece. I am very glad I bought it on a whim! (Only a small whim since I actually adore Margaret Atwood). ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
Thoroughly captivating, and will merit from rereading on down the line. There is a density here that is only found in a meticulously crafted narrative; it is meaty and unctuous. You can marinate in this story, spending time with phrases either basking in the prose or contemplating a reference for its relevance to the larger work.


( )
  dowswell | Jul 25, 2021 |
This is one of my favorite Atwoods. The character of Grace, the vivid reconstruction of her life as a maid, the subtle commentary about gender and class, all in contrast to the lurid details of the murder for which Grace is imprisoned, combined with our uncertainty about her guilt (or the extent of her extenuating circumstances) makes for a fascinating character and case study. ( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
Margaret Atwood has always written her characters from the inside out. She knows them: in their hearts, their bones. For many years now she has been a stylist of sensuous power. In Alias Grace she has surpassed herself, writing with a glittering, singing intensity.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, Hilary Mantel (pay site) (Dec 19, 1996)
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gjelsvik, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pulice, Mario J.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walitzek, BrigitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Whatever may have happened through these years, God knows I speak truth, saying that you lie.
—William Morris, "The Defence of Guenevere"
I have no Tribunal.
—Emily Dickinson, Letters
I cannot tell you what the light is, but I can tell you what it is not...What is the motive of the light? What is the light?
Dedication
For Graeme and Jess
First words
Out of the gravel there are peonies growing.
Quotations
When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.
It's 1851. I'll be twenty-four years old next birthday. I've been shut up in here since the age of sixteen. I am a model prisoner, and give no trouble.
Gone mad is what they say, and sometimes Run mad, as if mad is a direction, like west; as if mad is a different house you could step into, or a separate country entirely. But when you go mad you don't go any other place, you stay where you are. And somebody else comes in.
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It is 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?

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