Margaret Atwood - Stone Mattress - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349006543
    • Publication date:24 Sep 2015

Stone Mattress

Nine Wicked Tales

By Margaret Atwood

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy.

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite.

In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle - and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

Biographical Notes

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty works, including fiction, poetry and critical essays, and her books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She has won many literary awards and prizes.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349006536
  • Publication date: 24 Sep 2015
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: Virago
Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood . Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page — Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
Atwood illuminates heavy themes with a lightness of touch, giving insight not only into the nature of stone but the trials and tribulations of flesh and blood — Anita Sethi, Observer
This collection of short stories is charged with a delightful cheekiness . Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or - in one memorable case - freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking. Anyone keen to consign literary fiction to an early grave will have to deal with her first — Independent
Realism and ridiculousness, play and deadly seriousness, are held in fine balance throughout. This long view throughout the collection is entirely unsparing, both of the vanished past and the vanishing present, but Atwood's prose is so sharp and sly that the effect is bracing rather than bleak — Guardian
Atwood is as puckish as ever with these 'nine wicked tales' . . . 'Lusus Naturae' is a deliciously gothic treat in which the language is so rich you could lick it and 'The Freeze-Dried Groom' is a spine-tingling mini-thriller — Marcus Field, Independent
Virago

The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

On Writers and Writing

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

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 the development of her 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 seen fit to assume, what roles they have chosen to play. In her final chapter she takes up the challenge of the book's title: if a writer is to be seen as 'gifted', who is doing the giving and what are the terms of the gift?Margaret Atwood's wide and eclectic reference to other writers, living and dead, is balanced by anecdotes from her own experiences as a writer, both in Canada and on the international scene. The lightness of her touch is underlined by a seriousness about the purpose and the pleasures of writing, and by a deep familiarity with the myths and traditions of western literature.

Virago

MaddAddam

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

Oryx And Crake

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

Pigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once named Jimmy, lives in a tree, wrapped in old bedsheets, now calls himself Snowman. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility. 'In Jimmy, Atwood has created a great character: a tragic-comic artist of the future, part buffoon, part Orpheus. An adman who's a sad man; a jealous lover who's in perpetual mourning; a fantasist who can only remember the past' - Independent'Gripping and remarkably imagined' - London Review of Books

Virago

The Year Of The Flood

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

The sun brightens in the east, reddening the blue-grey haze that marks the distant ocean. The vultures roosting on the hydro poles fan out their wings to dry them. the air smells faintly of burning. The waterless flood - a manmade plague - has ended the world.But two young women have survived: Ren, a young dancer trapped where she worked, in an upmarket sex club (the cleanest dirty girls in town); and Toby, who watches and waits from her rooftop garden. Is anyone else out there?

Virago

In Other Worlds

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

From her days as a child reader in the 1940s, through her time at Harvard, where she studied the Victorian ancestors of the form, and later as a writer and reviewer, Margaret Atwood has always been fascinated with science fiction.Here she brings together three Ellmann lectures: 'Flying Rabbits' begins with her early rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes, weakling alter egos and Things with Wings; 'Burning Bushes' travels into Victorian otherlands and beyond; and 'Dire Cartographies' investigates Utopias and Dystopias, including Atwood's own ventures into those constructions. In further essays Atwood explores and critiques the form, and elucidates the differences - as she sees them - between 'science fiction' proper, and 'speculative fiction', not to mention 'sword and sorcery', 'fantasy' and 'slipstream fiction'. In Other Worlds is a must.

Virago

Moral Disorder

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

Murder In The Dark

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

These short fictions and prose poems are beautifully bizarre: bread can no longer be thought of as wholesome comforting loaves; the pretensions of the male chef are subjected to a loght roasting; a poisonous brew is concocted by cynical five year olds; and knowing when to stop is of deadly importance in a game of Murder in the Dark.* 'Direct, unpretentious, humorous' SUNDAY TIMES

Virago

Good Bones

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

These wise and witty writings home in on Shakespeare, tree stumps, ecological disasters, bodies (male and female), and theology, amongst other matters. We hear Gertrude's version of what really happened in Hamlet; an ugly sister and a wicked stepmother put in a good word for themselves,and a reincarnated bat explains how Bram Stoker got Dracula hopelessly wrong. Good Bones is pure distilled Atwood - deliciously strong and bittersweet.'A marvellous miniature sample case of Atwood's sensuous and sardonic talents' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

Virago

Eating Fire

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

The evolution of Margaret Atwood's poetry illuminates a major literary talent. Through bus trips and postcards, wilderness and trivia, she reflects the passion and energy of a writer intensely engaged with her craft and the world. In this volume, two previous selections, Poems 1965-1975 and Poems 1976-1986 are presented together with Morning in the Burned House.'Detached, ironic, loving by turns . . . poems that sing off the page and sting' Michèle Roberts

Virago

Wilderness Tips

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

A leathery bog-man transforms an old love affair; a sweet, gruesome gift is sent by the wife of an ex-lover; landscape paintings are haunted by the ghost of a young girl. This dazzling collection of ten short stories takes us into familiar Atwood territory to reveal the logic of irrational behaviour and the many textures lying beneath ordinary life.

Virago

The Edible Woman

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

The Door

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

THE DOOR is Margaret Atwood's first book of poetry since the 1995 MORNING IN THE BURNED HOUSE. Its lucid yet urgent poems range in tone from lyric to ironic to meditative to prophetic, and in subject from the personal to the political viewed in its broadest sense. They investigate the mysterious writing of poetry itself, as well as the passage of time and our shared sense of mortality. As the New York Times has said, 'Atwood's poems are short, glistening with terse, bright images. . . ' A brave and compassionate book, THE DOOR interrogates the certainties that we build our lives on.

Virago

Curious Pursuits

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

Strange Things

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood's witty and informative book focuses on the imaginative mystique of the wilderness of the Canadian North. She discusses the 'Grey Owl Syndrome' of white writers going native; the folklore arising from the mysterious-- and disastrous -- Franklin expedition of the nineteenth century; the myth of the dreaded snow monster, the Wendigo; the relations between nature writing and new forms of Gothic; and how a fresh generation of women writers in Canada have adapted the imagery of the Canadian North for the exploration of contemporary themes of gender, the family and sexuality. Writers discussed include Robert Service, Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, E.J. Pratt, Marian Engel, Margaret Laurence, and Gwendolyn MacEwan.This superbly written 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.

Virago

The Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.' Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.

Virago

Surfacing

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

The Robber Bride

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Virago

Cat's Eye

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood - unbearable betrayals and cruelties - surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for forty years.'Not since Graham Greene has a novelist captured so forcefully the relationship between school bully and victim...Atwood's games are played, exquisitely, by little girls' LISTENERAn exceptional novel from the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize