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Negotiating with the Dead

Negotiating with the Dead
A Writer on Writing

Out of Print

Award Winner

Part of The Empson Lectures

  • Date Published: March 2002
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2014
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521662604

Out of Print
Hardback

Unavailable - out of print June 2014
Unavailable Add to wishlist

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About the Authors
  • What is the role of the Writer? Prophet? High Priest of Art? Court Jester? Or witness to the real world? Looking back on her own childhood and writing career, Margaret Atwood examines the metaphors which writers of fiction and poetry have used to explain--or excuse!--their activities, looking at what costumes they have assumed, what roles they have chosen to play. In her final chapter she takes up the challenge of the title: if a writer is to be seen as "gifted", who is doing the giving and what are the terms of the gift? Atwood's wide reference to other writers, living and dead, is balanced by anecdotes from her own experiences, both in Canada and elsewhere. The lightness of her touch is offset by a seriousness about the purpose and the pleasures of writing, and by a deep familiarity with the myths and traditions of western literature. Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Quebec, Ontario, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College. Throughout her thirty years of writing, Atwood has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. Hew newest novel, The Blind Assassin, won the 2000 Booker Prize for Fiction. She is the author of more than twenty-five volumes of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include Alias Grace (1996), The Robber Bride (1994), Cat's Eye (1988), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), Surfacing (1972) and The Edible Woman (1970). Acclaimed for her talent for portraying both personal lives and worldly problems of universal concern, Atwood's work has been published in more than thirty-five languages, including Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic, and Estonian.

    • Author has won Booker prize for latest novel, The Blind Assassin (2000)
    • Atwood is studied now at sixth-form and university undergraduate level, so there will be a student as well as general market, and a market among students on creative writing courses
    • This book is a slightly expanded version of the Empson Lectures delivered at Cambridge in April 2000
    Read more

    Awards

    • Winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction, 2000 The previous novel, Alias Grace, was shortlisted for the Booker and won the Premio Mondello in 1997

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Atwood deserves respect for her willingness to engage a wide readership in discussing the social meaning of literature, and she has undoubtedly created an accessible volume that will enable interested readers to follow up on the magnificent sources she has brought together." Janice Fiamengo, Canadian Literature

    "[Atwood] has an uncanny knack for writing books that anticipate the popular preoccupations of her public." Dowagiac, MI News

    "...erudite and witty, down to earth while literary, insightful, and practical...As in her fiction, her brilliant thinking and sense of humour make this a joy to read...Negotiating with the Dead is Margaret Atwood at her best." Canadian Woman Studies

    "Because it is so richly textured, so intellectually complex, and so subtly structured, Negotiating with the Dead is a work that deserves a second reading and even a third. With this critical work, in which she identifies so clearly all the risks of her call but yet expresses her faith in its work, she has proven her mastery of another genre." Magill's Literary Annual

    "[Atwood] teases, probes, tickles, punches and enlightens." Globe & Mail

    "Atwood's style glistens with sharp details and sly wit. The range of reference is deliciously eclectiv." Quill and Quire

    "This is fine reading for all of us who believe that literature really matters." The American Review of Canadian Studies

    "...the conversational tone, the personal anecdotes, and the brilliant references to myth and literature make this critical work by Margaret Atwood almost as fascinating as one of her novels." Magill Book Reviews

    "A bracing performance." Susan Balee, Women's Review of Books

    "The prominent woman of letters reworks a series of lectures into a cavalcade of intellectual insights." Wisconsin State Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521662604
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 203 x 137 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.365kg
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2014
  • 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.

  • Author

    Margaret Atwood
    Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College. Throughout her thirty years of writing, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and several honorary degrees. She is the author of more than twenty-five volumes of poetry, fiction and non-fiction and is perhaps best-known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Cat's Eye (1988) and Alias Grace (1996). Her novel The Blind Assassin won the 2000 Booker Prize for Fiction. She has an uncanny knack for writing books which anticipate the popular preoccupations of her public. Margaret Atwood has been aclaimed for her talent for portraying both personal and worldly problems of universal concern. Her work has been published in more than thirty languages, including Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian.

    Awards

    • Winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction, 2000 The previous novel, Alias Grace, was shortlisted for the Booker and won the Premio Mondello in 1997

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