Margaret Atwood examines the nature of writing and the role of writers.
“An engaging book—erudite yet informal, playfully witty yet down to earth.” —Los Angeles Times
“Smart, deeply humane, courageous. . . . I have never come across a single book that more elegantly goes to the heart of the craft and its demands. . . . Hooray for Atwood!” —Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun
“This amazing woman’s voice, this fine writer’s constant example, is extraordinary.” —The Boston Globe
“A delight. . . . Frank and spirited. . . . A clear-eyed glance into the shadows where writers work and live.” –The Washington Post Book World
“An engaging book–erudite yet informal, playfully witty yet down to earth.” –Los Angeles Times
“Smart, deeply humane, courageous. . . . I have never come across a single book that more elegantly goes to the heart of the craft and its demands. . . . Hooray for Atwood!” –Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun
“This amazing woman’s voice, this fine writer’s constant example, is extraordinary.” –The Boston Globe
“A refreshing change from other books on writing.” –Columbus Dispatch
“[Negotiating with the Dead] is what every reader wants, a learned distillation of world lit and myth as viewed by that endangered species, a working writer; 219 pages, each guaranteed entertaining, to say nothing of edifying.” –The Miami Herald
“Atwood is the leading Canadian author and one of the most eminent women writing in English. Neither category meant as much before she inhabited it. . . . [She] plunges into matters that have beguiled readers and writers since Gilgamesh engraved his story on a stone.” –The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A pleasure to read: erudite, talky, with a heady humour.” –Daily Telegraph
“Charming. . . . [Atwood] teases, probes, tickles, punches and enlightens. . . . She wades into mythology with . . . ease . . . and sweeps across Western literature with casual erudition. You get to see the muscle of her mind, in its leapfrogging and hopscotching, making strange and original connections veiled in playfulness. . . . Atwood is a writer who has scratched her name on the tablet of the English language. She belongs to the world.” –The Globe & Mail
“A bracing performance.” –Women’s Review of Books
“Engaging food for thought for all those wo care about writers and writing. . . . Atwood allows her wit to shine on almost every page.” –Library Journal
“Atwood’s style glistens with sharp details and sly wit. The range of references is deliciously eclectic.” –Quill and Quire
Read an Excerpt
Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood’s definitive look at the role of the writer.
What is the role of the writer? Prophet? High Priest of Art? Court Jester? Or witness to the real world? Looking back on her own childhood and the development of her writing career, Margaret Atwood examines the metaphors that writers of fiction and poetry have used to explain -- or excuse -- their activities, looking at what roles they have chosen to play.
Margaret Atwood’s wide and eclectic reference to other writers, living and dead, is balanced by personal anecdotes from her own experiences as a writer. The lightness of her touch is offset by a seriousness about the purpose and the pleasures of writing, and by a deep familiarity with the myths and traditions of western literature.
Author Biography: Throughout her thirty-five years of writing, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her novel, The Blind Assassin, won the 2000 Booker Prize for Fiction. Her work has been published in more than thirty-five languages.
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