13 August 2005

Margaret Atwood

No stories! No stories! Imagine a world without stories!
But that's exactly what you would have, if all the women were wise.
The Wise Virgins keep their lamps trimmed and filled with oil, and the bridegroom arrives, in the proper way, knocking at the front door, in time for his dinner;
no fuss, no muss, and also no story at all.
What can be told about the Wise Virgins, such bloodless paragons?
They bite their tongues, they watch their smart mouths, they sew their own clothing,
they achieve professional recognition, they do every right thing without effort.
Somehow they are insupportable; they have no narrative vices:
their wise smiles are too knowing, too knowing about us and our stupidities.
We suspect them of having mean hearts.
They are far too clever, not for their own good but for ours.

    - from Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood

A delicious book of what? Essays? Short fictions? Take this book seriously, while laughing aloud. It's about writing, women, the bottom line. Better than chocolate.

And while you're at it, read everything else she's read, starting with The Blind Assassin. So good I read it and then listened to it on tape.


  1. Margaret Atwood is one of my favorites. I think I've read most of what she has written. "Surfacing" and other of her earlier work is what has stayed with me, though. In particular, "The Edible Woman" was a book I found quite moving.

    What do you think of her poetry, c?

  2. I have read every piece of fiction she's written. She gets better with every book, which seems near impossible since she's been absolutely amazing for the last ten years. She is my favourite author ever.