The Edible Woman

The Edible Woman

by Margaret Atwood
3.4 12


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The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Ever since her engagement, the strangest thing has been happening to Marian McAlpin: she can't eat. First meat. Then eggs, vegetables, cake, pumpkin seeds—everything! Worse yet, she has the crazy feeling that she's being eaten. Marian ought to feel consumed with passion, but she really just feels...consumed. A brilliant and powerful work rich in irony and metaphor, The Edible Woman is an unforgettable masterpiece by a true master of contemporary literary fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385491068
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1998
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 128,924
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. A book of short stories called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales was published in 2014. Her novel, MaddAddam (2013), is the final volume in a three-book series that began with the Man-Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003) and continued with The Year of the Flood (2009). The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short fiction) both appeared in 2006. A volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, a collection of non-fiction essays appeared in 2011. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth was adapted for the screen in 2012. Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.


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

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The Edible Woman 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awkward events start to occur in The Edible Woman after Marian McAplin and Peter, her boyfriend of less than a year, get engaged. Canadian author Margaret Atwood uses this matter to depict women's rebellion against the male-dominated society in the 1960's. When Marian becomes engaged she disassociates herself from her friends, plans to quit work after she gets married, and allows Peter to dictate their relationship. Marian becomes overwhelmed. She loses her voice and the ability to tell her own story. It is from here that Book Two begins, and the story switches from first person to third person. This switch is a reflection of Marian's relationship with Peter in which she, as a person, is disappearing. In my mind, the switching of narrators took away from the story. I found it confusing not knowing Marian's thoughts, as I got used to that during Book One. Marian is the reason I liked this book, because her voice rings so clear when she is narrating. Not only does she make the reader see the things she sees, she also makes the reader feel the things she feels. There's a lot more going on than the engagement issue, and Marian is sure to tell the reader about it. When Marian ignores the consuming nature of marriage she finds herself rejecting food. Food acts as a metaphor for her rejection of the male-dominated society. The Edible Woman is rich in metaphor and irony. There were some metaphors that I did not fully understand until I finished the entire novel and it would have been nice if they were evident earlier. As I read, I was torn about my true feelings towards the book. At times I found myself lacking interest due to some of the characters being one dimensional. The one character that kept me interested was Marian. I wanted to keep reading to see what twist her life would make next. It was challenging at times to stay connected, as Atwood pulled the reader in so much and tried to put you in Marian's place. Society today is much different and I found it hard to connect with Marian and her emotions at times. In general, I give a lot of credit to Atwood. This was her first major novel, and I am interested in reading some of her other pieces after finishing The Edible Woman. I really enjoyed the links between women, marriage, and society in an era defined by male executives that Atwood made.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Series like Ally Mcbeal and Sex and the City owe this book an incredible debt. Its portrait of a woman coming apart at the seams because men want her to be something she isn't is the first of its kind. As a book, it's deep but narrow. The characters are little more than ideologies with legs and arms, but they are nonetheless quite interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The premise of this book intrigued me; the book itself did not. The themes were poorly executed, the characters were one dimensional, and the prose was trite. I quit reading this book 2/3 of the way into it and just read the last chapter-the themes were reiterated and the characters lived happily ever after. Disappointing book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was the second book of her's that I've read. I loved every page,it wasn't a book that you can just read but one that you want to read. And of course you do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
recovering from anorexia, this book caught my eye and my morbid curiosity. i found i could relate alot to the heroine: being stifled in a buttoned up relationship, she slowly stops eating. it is a cry for help that not even she recognizes till the very end. oh, and the last few pages are the absolute best! atwood portrays a victorious and witty heroine, displaying the author's complete understanding of how surprising women can be! left me hungry for seconds.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Margaret Atwood is a superbly intelligent writer. Her themes are woven deep within characters, situations, and the words on the page. The Edible Woman was a novel that took awhile to read, because it doesn't leave you riveted to its pages, but over time, and especially after finishing it, I was left with the meanings behind Atwood's words. Even though I finished this novel a while ago, I am left with overwhelming images of what Atwood lays out within her words. Underneath her characters droll lies so much more. Recommended highly.