Happy belated birthday to Margaret Atwood who was 71 yesterday. She is one of my favourite authors. I love all of her books. I am trying to not rush through her back list - I want to take my time. She writes novels, shot stories, tweets, blogs and writes non fiction. I'm glad she hasn't decided to retire.
My first Atwood was Cat's Eye. It was the first book I read after my A-Levels. I got it out of the library the afternoon of my last exam and battled through it's stale smoky smell. After that I got back into reading in a big way.
My favourite quote from Cat's Eye is this one:
“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”
In Happy Endings, a short story, Margaret Atwood references both the mechanics of short story plotting, and the effects of gender stereotyping in Happy Endings. A story that unravels and also reveals more as it progresses.
Lots of her books deal with crisis of identity, finding a place in society, memory. She has strong female characters in her novels who have to battle against cliched ideas of gender and politics. Her characters are pro-active and want to fight back against preconceived ideas.
I like the way that each book is never the same. She writes across genres and bends the rules. One novel will be a historical tale and then she will write a spec-fiction book. I want to be able to bend genres like that. I'm not much of a fan of writers who always stick to the same genres for their own writing career.
My favourite short story collection is The Tent.
My favorite short story is Happy Endings.
My favourite novel is either Cat's Eye or Handmaid's Tale.