Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing

Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing

by Margaret Atwood


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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale

In this wise and irresistibly quotable book, one of the most intelligent writers now working in English addresses the riddle of her art: why people pursue it, how they view their calling, and what bargains they make with their audiences, both real and imagined. To these fascinating issues Margaret Atwood brings a candid appraisal of her own experience as well as a breadth of reading that encompasses everything from Dante to Elmore Leonard. An ambitious artistic inquiry conducted with unpretentious charm, Negotiating with the Dead is an invaluable insider’s view of the writer’s universe.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400032600
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/09/2003
Series: Empson Lectures
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 191,815
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning TV series, her novels include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; Oryx and Crake, short-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize; The Year of the FloodMaddAddam; and Hag-Seed. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. In 2019, she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature.


Toronto, Ontario

Date of Birth:

November 18, 1939

Place of Birth:

Ottawa, Ontario


B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Orientation: who do you think you are?; 2. Duplicity: the Jekyll hand, the Hyde hand, and the slippery double; 3. Dedication: the great god Pen; 4. Temptation: Prospero, the Wizard of Oz, Mephisto and Co; 5. Communion: nobody to nobody; 6. Descent: negotiating with the dead.

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