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Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood

Wilderness Tips (1991)

by Margaret Atwood

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One of the best collections of short stories I have read till now. Masterfully composed, interesting, full of psychological insight, moving and with irresistible wit, dark humour. Atwood has a way of perfectfully introducing the characters and slipping in all background information the reader needs to get full understanding of what is happening. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
I'm going to have to take a break from Margaret Atwood. I love her novels, but her short stories have left little impression on me. (And let's not even mention my recent run in with The Heart Goes Last...).

There are only two stories in Wilderness Tips that I can remember and that were of some interest to me - Uncles and The Age of Lead.
The latter caught my interest because it makes reference to the Franklin expedition, which is an event I have some interest in.

Other than that, the stories are well written and quite subdued. Each deals with some quiet desperation involving its main characters. There are no punches or fireworks, but a long and slow unfolding of the story or theme. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
Like all collections of short stories, some are - not necessarily better - but enjoyed more than others. Hairball was downright creepy. They all show essential qualities that the characters usually keep hidden. I've been told that Atwood fictionalized portrayals of Canadian literary contemporaries in her stories. Hack Wednesday, one of my favourites, is said to be drawn on the journalist June Callwood. Selena in Isis in Darkness is a tribute to poet Gwendolyn MacEwen. I don't know MacEwen well enough to guess how it might have been received, but I think she'd have liked it. ( )
  VivienneR | Aug 7, 2016 |
This is a fairly early collection of short stories by Margaret Atwood. I was intrigued when I found out that many of the stories took place in the woods, at summer camps and vacation cabins – all places where I spent childhood and teenage years.

But even though I had a connection with the locations of many of the stories, I felt the stories themselves lacked the punch of her more recent collections such as A Stone Mattress. Not bad, but not memorable. ( )
  streamsong | May 23, 2016 |
This is a typical collection of Margaret Atwood short stories. And by typical I mean, eminently readable and thought provoking. When I read Atwood, it feels like there's something just skimming below the surface which I can see shadows of, but not the entire something. I love books which make me think. ( )
  AuntieClio | Mar 28, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385491115, Paperback)

In each of these tales Margaret Atwood deftly illuminates the single instant that shapes a whole life: in a few brief pages we watch as characters progress from the vulnerabilities of adolescence through the passions of youth into the precarious complexities of middle age.  By superimposing the past on the present, Atwood paints interior landscapes shaped by time, regret, and life's lost chances, endowing even the banal with a sense of mystery.  Richly layered and disturbing, poignant at times and scathingly witty at others, the stories in Wilderness Tips take us into the strange and secret places of the heart and inform the familiar world in which we live with truths that cut to the bone.

Margaret Atwood is the author of over twenty-five books, including fiction, poetry, and essays.  Among her most recent works are the bestselling novels Alias Grace and The Robber Bride and the collections Wilderness Tips and Good Bones and Simple Murders.  She lives in Toronto.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:43 -0400)

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Stories that explore themes of loss and discovery, of the gap between youthful dreams and mature reality, of how we connect with others and with the sometimes hidden part of ourselves.

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