Foreign currency deposits and the demand for money in developing countries (IMF working paper)
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More About the Author
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)
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel opens with the fantastic line 'I planned my death carefully; unlike my life, which meandered along from one thing to another, despite my feeble attempts to control it' and goes on to explain that the narrator has faked her own death in order to escape both her stillborn marriage and a blackmail attempt by the mysterious Fraser Buchanan.
It then continues with vivid, moving, and highly amusing accounts of her childhood. The narrator was a fat person until her late adolescense, and here Atwood gives a voice to the underrepresented and oppressed overweight of today's society. Joan's battles with her mother, of which her body was the battleground, are telling of a society where it is unacceptable to be anything except a perfect ten.
Atwood then alternates the narrative of the story with extracts from the gothic romance her narrator is writing: 'Stalked by love.' It is in these extracts, and the narrator's thoughts on them, that Atwood's trademark insightfulness truly flourishes, as even the most militant feminist finds herself confessing that what they really want is a Rochester. I particularly like the quotation 'Escape wasn't a luxury for (my readers), it was a necessity ...Read more ›
Margaret Atwood has such a wonderful way of telling the story about an ordinary woman - she isn't beautiful beyond imagination, she doesn't have fantastically wonderful relationships, a model husband and unrealistically good looking children, she is simply Joan Foster, with long red hair and, as one of the characters puts it "built like a brick nuthouse". But she doesn't need to have all the above things because Margaret has given her character a wonderfully touching and extraordinary life. Extraordinary because it is so ordinary!!!
Atwood strikes exactly the right balance in this book between moments of raw pain (Joan's childhood and relationship with her mother) and comic moments. I really really loved this book. It doesn't really have a proper ending but it wouldn't have because this is a snapshot of someone's life so it wouldnt tie up neatly at the end as you would not then be left wondering how Joan gets on.
Some people have moaned that Atwood includes too much detail in her novels but I think this is tosh - the details make it more real - who wants to read a book where the characters don't eat, sleep, burp, become obese, look ugly, in short, they don't behave like real people.
She has a wonderful way of describing relationships, especially the tensions and misapprehensions but by far the most chilling, Atwood can convey exactly the relationship between a bully and a victim and this is a common theme in her novels. It can be very unnerving to read especially if you yourself have been through similar experiences but then again, that just goes towards making the book more "real".Read more ›
This novel however is still as fresh as when it was first puplished in the 1970s.It also shows some of the later themes of Atwood's novels. The novel starts towards the end of the story and gaps are filled in to bring the reader up to date.The main female character has had a bullied upbringing and exotic affairs (Cats Eye and The Robber Bride ). There is even a subplot consisting of the main character's own fiction making an appearance on the page (The Blind Assassin).If you have already read and enjoyed Atwood's later novels this book is well worth reading.
The novel is basically about the life of the narrator, leading up to present day where the story began with revealing they had planned their own death. The plot then moves forward and shows how the narrator has dealt with this new-found isolation and whether she has in fact succeeded in fooling the world.
Whilst reading this book I was hoping for something more than just a recollection of the character's life. True, it is evident that the narrator is quite a paranoid person and the opening of the story makes more and more sense as you read on, but I found myself seeking something beyond this recollection. Perhaps a bit more action rather than reflection.
The narrator is a writer and Atwood includes excerpts from the books that she is writing. These are quite entertaining to read and provide a light-hearted escape from the development of the story, even if the books that are written are just "trashy novels". As a result, I found the main story line a little suffocating because of the emotions that the character professes and the negativity, particularly surrounding her growing up and her relationship with her mother.
This is the second Margaret Atwood novel I have read and I am convinced there are better ones out there (like `The Handmaid's Tale'). Many people have told me how great her novels are so I think I have just chosen a spanner in the works. It is not one I would recommend and think I need to read some more of her works to get a better flavour of her writing style.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The early part of the story I found interesting. Joans' sad, unloved, and abusive childhood had me caring what became of Joan and hoping she would escape to a happy fulfilled... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Sha
Fantastic book, recommended by a friend. You are absorbed from the start.Published 2 months ago by LouO
This was my first Margaret Atwood and it could be my last, except that I am a keen reader and will probably have another go. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jean
One of Margaret Atwood's earliest novels, and one that shows the skill which would go on to make her one of the most popular and celebrated authors of modern times. Read morePublished 7 months ago by BookWorm
Very slow and ending was not as expected.
My expectations were higher for a novel written by Atwood after reading the fantastic handmaid's tale I was a little disappointed at... Read more
I adore this book. It is a perfect dark comedy. The indecisive and cynical nature of the protagonist is often hilariously relatable, and you come to love her right away.Published 21 months ago by tamara leonard
I think this must have been one of her early works. Now she gets a lot deeper. But still good.Published on 25 Sept. 2013 by wendy carter