The internationally celebrated author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, poetry, essays, and criticism, Margaret Atwood is one of Canada's most esteemed literary figures. She has won many literary awards, her work has been translated into twenty-two languages, her novel The Handmaid's Tale was adapted for the screen by Harold Pinter, and her most recent book, The Robber Bride, was on the New York Times bestseller list (in cloth and paper) for months. In Strange Things, Atwood turns to the literary imagination of her native land, as she explores the mystique of the Canadian North and its impact on the work of writers such as Robertson Davies, Alice Munroe, and Michael Ondaatje. Here readers will delight in Atwood's stimulating discussion of stories and storytelling, myths and their recreations, fiction and fact, and the weirdness of nature. In particular, she looks at three legends of the Canadian North. She describes the mystery of the disastrous Franklin expedition in which 135 people disappeared into the uncharted North. She examines the "Grey Owl syndrome" of white writers who turn primitive. And she looks at the terrifying myth of the cannibalistic, ice-hearted Wendigo--the gruesome Canadia snow monster who can spot the ice in your own heart and turn you into a Wendigo. Atwood shows how these myths have fired the literary imagination of her native Canada and have deeply colored essential components of its literature. And in a moving, final chapter, she discusses how a new generation of Canadian women writers have adapted the imagery of the North to explore contemporary themes of gender, the family, and sexuality. Written with the delightful style and narrative grace which will be immediately familiar to all of Atwood's fans, this superbly crafted and compelling portrait of the mysterious North is at once a fascinating insight into the Canadian imagination, and an exciting new work from an outstanding literary presence.
Literature & Fiction, History & Criticism,