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Dancing Girls and Other Stories Paperback – 26 Sep 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (26 Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099744910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099744917
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,652,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays.

In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the 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 and Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, was published in 2009. She was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.

Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada.

(Photo credit: George Whitside)

Product Description

Review

"An acute and poetic observer of the eternal, universal, rum relationships between men and women" (The Times)

"The mind revealed in this collection of short stories is acutely perceptive, in love with language and capable of seeing significant connections between apparently disparate circumstances" (Sheila MacLeod Evening Standard)

"If anyone has better insight into women and their central problem - men - than Margaret Atwood, and can voice them with as much wit, impact and grace, then they haven't started writing yet" (Daily Mail)

"Margaret Atwood's stories are fierce parables about the horror of city life and the power politics of relationships. The fierceness filters insidiously through the leisurely realism of her domestic interiors, clothes, meals, weather... A remarkable collection" (Victoria Glendinning Sunday Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'An acute and poetic observer of the eternal, universal, rum relationships between men and women.' (The Times)

'The mind revealed in this collection of short stories is acutely perceptive, in love with language and capable of seeing significant connections between apparently disparate circumstances.' (Evening Standard)

'If anyone has better insight into women and their central problem – men – than Margaret Atwood, and can voice them with as much wit, impact and grace, then they haven't started writing yet.' (Globe and Mail)

'Margaret Atwood's stories are fierce parables about the horror of city life and the power politics of relationships. The fierceness filters insidiously through the leisurely realism of her domestic interiors, clothes, meals, weather ... A remarkable collection.' (The Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 25 April 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Atwood is one of the greatest and most prolific living authors in my opinion. This collection of short stories shows why. Generally I'm not a big fan of the short story format - I prefer something that's long and meaty enough to get my teeth into and really get to know the characters. But I enjoyed this collection of gems thoroughly. Each story is like a photograph - a moment in time - from a life or a collection of lives; a small and privileged glimpse into other people's worlds. Atwood's stories are about the little things in lives: noisy bathrooms, weekend trips, stays in hotel rooms, infatuations - little things in the scheme of things, but things that matter to the people involved. Where Atwood excels is in taking us into the life of the protagonist to such an extent that the reader forgets that the story revolves around something as mundane as a birdspotter missing a bird, or a girl's fleeting attachment with a stranger. What's also great about this collection is that each story is the perfect length for a single sitting before bed, or on the train. This book won't change your life, but it will give several hours of pure and simple pleasure - which, after all, is something that a lot of contemporary authors seem strangely unable to do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. R. Richardson on 28 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
I've read a fair amount of Atwood by now, but this is my first experience with her short stories. This is one of her lesser-known collections of stories written early in her career. As a hopeful author myself, it was a good insight to see how she has changed and grown as an author over the years.

This early in her career, she's still an incredible writer. Her descriptions are short and sweet. One that for some reason really stuck with me was the girl in "The Man from Mars." She was playing tennis at the beginning of the story and her skin was hot and "felt poached." Such an excellent way to put it! All of the women here are a little strange, a little off, and possibly a little crazy. They are put in odd situations and it's interesting to see how they react.

My one criticism to this collection is a trend with Atwood I see overall. She's really fond of open endings, but some of the stories have too open an ending and are thus a but unsatisfactory. I'd like ones that had a clearer resolution. Overall, though, for Atwood fans, this is another Atwood to chew on.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sue, Oldham on 18 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not sure when this was published but I think Margaret Atwood's later books are much better. I finds short stories are ok for dipping into though - stops me from staying up all night to finish a good book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms Atwood can do no wrong - brilliant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fine Atwood Collection 18 Jun. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dancing Girls / 0-553-37791-4

This collection of Atwood short stories includes:
- The War in the Bathroom
- When It Happens
- The Man from Mars
- A Travel Piece
- Polarities
- The Resplendent Quetzal
- Under Glass
- Training
- The Grave of the Famous Poet
- Lives of Poets
- Dancing Girls
- Hair Jewelry
- Giving Birth
- Rape Fantasies
- Betty
- The Sin Eater

These stories are classic Atwood material: the stories explore pain in modern relationships, and the ennui that sets into modern life and leaves people feeling deeply sad, yet unable to explain their sadness. In the face of material security, socially acceptable relationships and jobs, and owning lavish goods and homes, why do we still feel so sad? Other stories carefully examine mental deterioration, whether mental illness ("The War in the Bathroom") as the main character slowly seems to spiral into dementia, or severe strain brought on by unusual circumstances ("A Travel Piece"). Atwood posits that, in the face of complete breakdown, a part of us still hangs onto our familiar routines, even when hanging on seems absurd. Whether this absurd cling to the familiar helps to maintain our sanity or whether it merely hastens the descent into madness is never made clear.

~ Ana Mardoll
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Piercing and Brilliant 31 Dec. 2007
By Amanda D. Muir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Initially enticed into the world of Margaret Atwood through a short story, I was thrilled to discover this collection. Social commentary, moral narrative, human fable - each piece is compelling in its own right. The depth and diversity of the characters populating each story is astounding and the themes inherent in each range from abstract to concrete, profound to peripheral. Atwood's writing remains piercing, brilliant and timeless.
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