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Wilderness Tips
By

Rating
This is a collection of short stories from the author of "Cat's Eye" and "The Handmaid's Tale". The settings range from late-1950s coffee bars, where poetry readings are subversive, to wild Canadian landscapes that are both menacing and alluring.
Product Details

About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 30 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize. Oryx and Crake was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003. Her other books for children include Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda and Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Reviews

Set mainly in Toronto or in the Canadian woods, the 10 beautifully controlled tales in Atwood's new collection testify to the unpredictability of life, its missed connections, unsolvable mysteries and the lightning passage of time. Most of them are refracted through the sensibilities and memories of female protagonists, who reflect on the moment when they realized that ``nothing has turned out'' as they expected. Past and present coalesce seamlessly in these stories; Atwood is particularly good at capturing the feelings of adolescence and the exact details that typify the culture of the decades from the '50s to the '90s. Events are seen at a distance, related in emotionally muted but acutely revealing prose. The hard-edged tone of ``Hairball'' perfectly conjures up the ruthless, manipulative protagonist who suddenly realizes that she has been bested by her obnoxious protege. Susanna, in ``Uncles,'' has a similar comeuppance, as she, the consummate trickster who ``can fake anything'' is betrayed by her mentor. In both ``The Bog Man'' (the least successful tale, as here Atwood uncharacteristically veers toward melodrama) and ``The Age of Lead'' a body uncovered long after death serves as a metaphor for buried desires, opportunities and hopes. In the title story, Atwood observes the interrelationships among three sisters and the randy foreigner who has married one of them and made love to the other two. Atwood's ( Cat' s Eye ) uncompromising eye is enhanced by her sinewy, taut prose. (Dec.)

In this newest collection of ten short stories, Atwood looks back over three decades that have wrought great changes in women's lives. The impacts of death, disease, deception, and disappointment are explored; Atwood's characters, with their tenuous personal relationships, always endure a terrible aloneness. The loss of trust in others is a recurring theme. In one story a betrayed woman plays a grisly practical joke on her married lover; in another, a man settles for second choice in love and work and lives in apathy thereafter. An art collector's priceless landscapes only serve to remind her of a tragedy in her adolescence. Atwood's stories are unsettling but unforgettable. Recommended for public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/1/91.-- Marnie Webb, King Cty. Lib. System, Seattle

"Each of the stories in "Wilderness Tips" is a gem, a glittering piece to which one is drawn again and again." -"The Denver Post" "A solace in the midst of life's losses and confusions-reason enough to celebrate once again Margaret Atwood's singular gifts."-"Maclean's" ""Wilderness Tips" is vintage stuff: the author is at her satiric, terse, biting and disturbing best in these ten stories."-"Edmonton Journal" "This is masterful writing." -"Globe and Mail" "Atwood is as audacious as ever....There is something irresistible about this combination of mordant humour and unswerving truth."-"Winnipeg Free Press" "[Atwood possesses] a truly remarkable array of powers....The wilderness of "Wilderness Tips" is the one we all live in-whether or not we admit it." -"Books in Canada" "These are stories "Each of the stories in "Wilderness Tips" is a gem, a glittering piece to which one is drawn again and again." -"The Denver Post" "A solace in the midst of life's losses and confusions-reason enough to celebrate once again Margaret Atwood's singular gifts."-"Maclean's" ""Wilderness Tips" is vintage stuff: the author is at her satiric, terse, biting and disturbing best in these ten stories."-"Edmonton Journal" "This is masterful writing." -"Globe and Mail" "Atwood is as audacious as ever....There is something irresistible about this combination of mordant humour and unswerving truth."-"Winnipeg Free Press" "[Atwood possesses] a truly remarkable array of powers....The wilderness of "Wilderness Tips" is the one we all live in-whether or not we admit it." -"Books in Canada" "These are stories that speak to all who do not close their ears, and their minds, to the late twentieth-century reality." -"StarPhoenix" (Saskatoon) "Virtuoso wit and unmistakable style....Atwood the poet is alive in these stories." -"Chicago Tribune." "The reader has the sense that Atwood has complete access to her people's emotional histories, complete understanding of their hearts and imagination." -"Publishers Weekly" "[Atwood has the] ability to place her finger firmly on the pulse of what is contemporary."-"Hamilton Spectator" ""Wilderness Tips" is a grimly comic, often scathing natural history of urban anxiety and middle age." -"London Free Press" "Almost every one of the ten stories in this collection superimposes the past upon the present in an unsettling, often startling manner, which conjures up a sense of the mysterious, in even the most banal relationships."-"New York Times Book Review" " Each of the stories in "Wilderness Tips" is a gem, a glittering piece to which one is drawn again and again." - "The Denver Post" " A solace in the midst of life's losses and confusions- reason enough to celebrate once again Margaret Atwood's singular gifts." - "Maclean' s" " "Wilderness Tips" is vintage stuff: the author is at her satiric, terse, biting and disturbing best in these ten stories." - "Edmonton Journal" " This is masterful writing." - "Globe and Mail" " Atwood is as audacious as ever.... There is something irresistible about this combination of mordant humour and unswerving truth." - "Winnipeg Free Press" " [Atwood possesses] a truly remarkable array of powers.... The wilderness of "Wilderness Tips" is the one we all live in- whether or not we admit it." - "Books in Canada" " These are stories that speak to all who do not close their ears, and their minds, to the late twentieth-century reality." - "StarPhoenix" (Saskatoon) " Virtuoso wit and unmistakable style.... Atwood the poet is alive in these stories." - "Chicago Tribune." " The reader has the sense that Atwood has complete access to her people's emotional histories, complete understanding of their hearts and imagination." - "Publishers Weekly" " [Atwood has the] ability to place her finger firmly on the pulse of what is contemporary." - "Hamilton Spectator" " "Wilderness Tips" is a grimly comic, often scathing natural history of urbananxiety and middle age." - "London Free Press" " Almost every one of the ten stories in this collection superimposes the past upon the present in an unsettling, often startling manner, which conjures up a sense of the mysterious, in even the most banal relationships." - "New York Times Book Review" "Each of the stories in "Wilderness Tips is a gem, a glittering piece to which one is drawn again and again." -"The Denver Post "A solace in the midst of life's losses and confusions-reason enough to celebrate once again Margaret Atwood's singular gifts."-"Maclean's ""Wilderness Tips is vintage stuff: the author is at her satiric, terse, biting and disturbing best in these ten stories."-"Edmonton Journal "This is masterful writing." -"Globe and Mail "Atwood is as audacious as ever....There is something irresistible about this combination of mordant humour and unswerving truth."-"Winnipeg Free Press "[Atwood possesses] a truly remarkable array of powers....The wilderness of "Wilderness Tips is the one we all live in-whether or not we admit it." -"Books in Canada "These are stories that speak to all who do not close their ears, and their minds, to the late twentieth-century reality." -"StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) "Virtuoso wit and unmistakable style....Atwood the poet is alive in these stories." -"Chicago Tribune. "The reader has the sense that Atwood has complete access to her people's emotional histories, complete understanding of their hearts and imagination." -"Publishers Weekly "[Atwood has the] ability to place her finger firmly on the pulse of what is contemporary."-"Hamilton Spectator ""Wilderness Tips is a grimly comic, often scathing natural history of urban anxiety and middle age." -"London Free Press "Almost every one of the ten stories in this collection superimposes the past upon the present in an unsettling, often startling manner, which conjures up a sense of the mysterious, in even themost banal relationships."-"New York Times Book Review

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