Good Bones and Simple Murders

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Overview

In this compilation of short works that defy easy categorization, Margaret Atwood displays the trademark wit and virtuosity of her bestselling novels, brilliant stories, and insightful poetry. Among the miniatures gathered here are Gertrude offering Hamlet a piece of her mind, the real truth about the Little Red Hen, a reincarnated bat explaining how Bram Stoker got Dracula all wrong, and the five home-economist methods of making a man. There are parables, monologues, prose poems, condensed science fictions, ...
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Good Bones and Simple Murders

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Overview

In this compilation of short works that defy easy categorization, Margaret Atwood displays the trademark wit and virtuosity of her bestselling novels, brilliant stories, and insightful poetry. Among the miniatures gathered here are Gertrude offering Hamlet a piece of her mind, the real truth about the Little Red Hen, a reincarnated bat explaining how Bram Stoker got Dracula all wrong, and the five home-economist methods of making a man. There are parables, monologues, prose poems, condensed science fictions, reconfigured fairy tales, and other diminutive masterpieces -- punctuated with charming illustrations by the author.

A literary garden of Atwoodian delights -- mini stories, parodies, and sketches by the bestselling author of The Robber Bride, Cat's Eye, and The Handmaid's Tale. A must for Atwood's fans and a wonderful gift for all who savor the art of exquisite prose.

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Editorial Reviews

Donna Seaman
This collection of quirky, clever, and devilishly funny sketches, parodies, and fractured fairy tales is a scream. Free from the structural demands of novels, short stories, and poetry, Atwood infuses these bracing little narratives with the full force of her drollness, anger, shrewdness, sass, and humor. Atwood has never forgotten the hard lessons of girlhood, and she continues to question the roots of our assumptions about gender roles, testing our shaky sense of progress toward equality. Her fascination with women's roles in life and literature leads her to muse on the necessity of "stupid women" in stories, to compare men's novels with women's novels, and to revisit old tales such as "Bluebeard" and "The Little Red Hen." In "Making a Man" and "Simmering," men take quite a beating; at one point, she declares, "Men's bodies are the most dangerous things on earth." After further reflections on sex, war, and relationships -- and a satire about applying political-correctness standards to literature -- Atwood moves on to some devastating views of our species and our future. These marvelously incendiary creations are like sparks thrown off from Atwood's longer works, crackling and popping brightly against the night sky, making us laugh and shiver.
Toronto Globe And Mail
[Atwood] proves she is an accomplished miniaturist...She can pack more wallop into less space than any other writer in her weight class.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385471107
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.53 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret  Atwood

Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.

She is the author of more than thirty books – novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children.

Atwood’s work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye – both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her new novel is Oryx and Crake (2003). She is the recipient of numerous honours, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the U.K., the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S., Le Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England.

Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.

Biography

When Margaret Atwood announced to her friends that she wanted to be a writer, she was only 16 years old. It was Canada. It was the 1950s. No one knew what to think. Nonetheless, Atwood began her writing career as a poet. Published In 1964 while she was still a student at Harvard, her second poetry anthology, The Circle Game, was awarded the Governor General's Award, one of Canada's most esteemed literary prizes. Since then, Atwood has gone on to publish many more volumes of poetry (as well as literary criticism, essays, and short stories), but it is her novels for which she is best known.

Atwood's first foray into fiction was 1966's The Edible Woman, an arresting story about a woman who stops eating because she feels her life is consuming her. Grabbing the attention of critics, who applauded its startlingly original premise, the novel explored feminist themes Atwood has revisited time and time again during her long, prolific literary career. She is famous for strong, compelling female protagonists -- from the breast cancer survivor in Bodily Harm to the rueful artist in Cat's Eye to the fatefully intertwined sisters in her Booker Prize-winning novel The Blind Asassin.

Perhaps Atwood's most legendary character is Offred, the tragic "breeder" in what is arguably her most famous book, 1985's The Handmaid's Tale. Part fable, part science fiction, and part dystopian nightmare, this novel presented a harrowing vision of women's lives in an oppressive futuristic society. The Washington Post compared it (favorably) to George Orwell's iconic 1984.

As if her status as a multi-award-winning, triple-threat writer (fiction, poetry, and essays) were not enough, Atwood has also produced several children's books, including Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut (1995) and Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes (2003) -- delicious alliterative delights that introduce a wealth of new vocabulary to young readers.

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    1. Hometown:
      Toronto, Ontario
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 18, 1939
    2. Place of Birth:
      Ottawa, Ontario
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Murder in the Dark 1
Bad News 4
Unpopular Gals 6
The Little Red Hen Tells All 13
Gertrude Talks Back 16
There Was Once 20
Women's Novels 25
The Boys' Own Annual, 1911 31
Stump Hunting 35
Making a Man 38
Men at Sea 43
Simmering 45
Happy Endings 50
Let Us Now Praise Stupid Women 57
The Victory Burlesk 64
She 67
The Female Body 69
Cold-Blooded 79
Liking Men 84
In Love with Raymond Chandler 88
Simple Murders 90
Iconography 93
Alien Territory 95
My Life as a Bat 109
Hardball 117
Bread 121
Poppies: Three Variations 125
Homelanding 132
The Page 139
An Angel 143
Third Handed 146
Death Scenes 149
We Want It All 154
Dance of the Lepers 156
Good Bones 159
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