Margaret Atwood - The Heart Goes Last - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349007298
    • Publication date:04 Aug 2016

The Heart Goes Last

By Margaret Atwood

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A sinister, wickedly funny novel about a near-future in which the lawful are locked up and the lawless roam free, The Heart Goes Last is Margaret Atwood at her heart-stopping best.

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of economic and social collapse. Living in their car, surviving on tips from Charmaine's job at a dive bar, they're increasingly vulnerable to roving gangs and in a rather desperate state. So when they see an advertisement for the Positron Project in the town of Consilience - a 'social experiment' offering stable jobs and a home of their own - they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for this suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month, swapping their home for a prison cell.

At first, all is well. But slowly, unknown to the other, Stan and Charmaine develop a passionate obsession with their counterparts, the couple that occupy their home when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire take over, and Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

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.

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  • ISBN: 9780349007304
  • Publication date: 04 Aug 2016
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  • Imprint: Virago
Gloriously madcap . . . You only pause in your laughter when you realise that, in its constituent parts, the world she depicts here is all too horribly plausible — Stephanie Merritt, Observer
Her eye for the most unpredictable caprices of the human heart and her narrative fearlessness have made her one of the world's most celebrated novelists — Naomi Alderman, Guardian
The bestselling author who shot to fame 30 years ago with The Handmaid's Tale is still at her darkly comic best — Sunday Times
Atwood's gift is to take what's already out there and nudge it to the next level . . . The Heart Goes Last is all at once thrilling, funny, grim - and shockingly convincing — Erica Wagner, Harper's Bazaar
What distinguishes Atwood's apocalypticism is her insistence that we have brought it on ourselves. It's not meteor strikes, or aliens that destroy our world. It's us . . . I loved it — John Sutherland, The Times
Jubilant comedy of errors, bizarre bedroom farce, SF prison-break thriller, psychedelic sixties crime caper: The Heart Goes Last scampers in and out of all of these genres, pausing only to quote Milton on the loss of Eden or Shakespeare on weddings. Meanwhile, it performs a hard-eyed autopsy on themes of impersonation and self-impersonation, revealing so many layers of contemporary deception and self-deception that we don't know whether to laugh or cry — Guardian
This visceral study of desperation and desire journeys into the dark heart of greed, exploitation and brutality, as it portrays a project that is "an infringement of individual liberties, an attempt at total social control, an insult to the human spirit". It is filled with passages of great intellectual and emotional acuity, appealing both to the head and to the heart — Anita Sethi, Observer
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On Writers and Writing

Margaret Atwood
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By the author of THE HANDMAID'S TALE and ALIAS GRACEWhat 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.Praise for On Writers and Writing: '...a streetwise, erudite suggestive enquiry into problems and myths of the writer's role. Her light touch on hard thoughts, her humour and eclectic quotations, lend enchantment to an argument that has as many undulating tentacles as a well developed sea anemone' -INDEPENDENT'Her witty, occasionally self-deprecating and always ingenious approach is a delight' -SUNDAY TIMES'A witty and profound rumination about writing' -THE TIMES

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Inspector Singh Investigates: A Calamitous Chinese Killing

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Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but the young man's mother demands that Singapore's finest (in his own opinion) rides to the rescue.But solving a murder in a country that practices socialism 'with Chinese characteristics' is a dangerous business. And it soon becomes apparent that getting to the bottom of this calamitous killing will be his toughest case yet . . .

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Winter, 1981, and fifteen-year-old Alistair Black is wrestling with the fierce power of his imagination. The boundaries between what is real and what is fantasy are dissolving to increasingly dangerous effect. And then he falls in love with Alice . . . WHAT HAPPENS NOW is a mesmerizing story about love, fear and faith. Atmospheric, suspenseful and spiked with black humour, it confirms Jeremy Dyson as one of the most exciting and original writers of his generation.

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The motto of the boarding school to which Tommy Bedford is dispatched is Fortune Favours the Brave. It's 1959 and the school bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. Tommy, a quirky loner, obsessed with cowboys and Indians, needs all the bravery he can summon. Salvation comes when his glamorous actress sister is swept off to Hollywood by one of his heroes, TV cowboy Ray Montane. But with the Cold War looming, the sinister side of Tinseltown seeps through and Tommy and Diane soon find themselves in jeopardy. Forty years on, Tommy has to confront his boyhood ghosts when his own son finds himself charged with murder.

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The Year Of The Flood

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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?

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