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Critical Insights: Margaret Atwood Surviving the Waterless Flood: Feminism and Ecofeminism in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the FloodA great starting point for students seeking an introduction to Atwood and the critical discussions surrounding her work. As the author of over forty works-including over a dozen novels and over a dozen books of poetry as well as collections of short stories and short fictions, works of literary criticism, and collections of her essays and reviews-Margaret Atwood is indisputably Canada's best-known contemporary author. Her works are taught in colleges and universities all over the world in a variety of courses, including women's literature, contemporary literature, and world and comparative literature. From the beginning of her career, when The Circle Game, won Canada's prestigious Governor General's Award, to the recent publication of The Year of the Flood, Atwood has been thrilling readers with her wit, incisive criticism, and complex characters. Edited by J. Brooks Bouson, Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago, this volume in the Critical Insights series presents a variety of new essays on the Canadian writer. For readers who are studying Atwood for the first time, a biographical sketch relates the details of her life and four essays survey the critical reception of Atwood's work, explore its cultural anistorical contexts, situate Atwood among her contemporaries, and review key themes in her work. Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the writer can then move on to other essays that explore topics like Atwood's feminism and Canadian identity; her use of myth; her on the environment; her reworking of the mystery genre; and the elements of gothicism, spirituality, and trauma that recur throughout her work. Works discussed include Surfacing, The Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood as well as selections from her mostly widely read short story and poetry collections. Among the contributors are Coral Ann Howells, Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, Michael P. Murphy, and Sharon R. Wilson. Rounding out the volume are a chronology of Atwood's life and a list of her principle publications as well as a bibliography for readers seeking to study this iconic author in greater depth.
Critical Insights: The Handmaid’s TaleThis title includes in-depth discussions of Margaret Atwood's ""The Handmaid's Tale"". ""The Handmaid's Tale"" won international acclaim when it was first published in 1985; with it, Margaret Atwood won Canada's Governor General's Award as well as the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was nominated for the Booker Prize. Written in the midst of the anti-feminist backlash and the culture wars of the 1980s, readers recognized it as a timely and chilling dystopian novel depicting a future in which the American government has been overthrown by religious fundamentalists who have, in turn, erected a patriarchal theocracy. Though Atwood had doubts about the novel when she was writing it, and though both conservative and liberal critics have found fault with it, the years following ""The Handmaid's Tale""'s publication have been rich with critical discussion. Edited and with an introduction by J. Brooks Bouson, a widely recognized Atwood scholar, this volume in the ""Critical Insights"" series collects some the novel's best critics to introduce high school students and undergraduates to one of Atwood's most widely read novels. Original essays by Lisa Jadwin and Dominick Grace lend context to the novel by surveying the political and cultural events out of which the novel grew as well as how Atwood's critics have responded to the novel. Two other original essays by Matthew Bolton and Jennifer E. Dunn explore the novel in light the dystopian literary tradition and feminist literary theory. This collection of republished essays continues the conversation as Coral Ann Howells considers the novel's narrative structure and Madonne Miner and Shirley Neuman examine the role of love in the novel. Chinmoy Banerjee addresses the topic of criticism as commodity in the novel, Elisabeth Hansot and Hilde Staels investigate hegemonic and subversive discourses, and Danita J. Dodson reads the story in light of America's Puritanistic past. Finally, Eleonora Rao offers a psychoanalytic reading that focuses on narrative gaps and ambiguities, and Karen F. Stein and Joseph Andriano consider the novel's metafictional elements. Each essay is 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of 'Works Cited', along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources: a chronology of the author's life; a complete list of the author's works and their original dates of publication; a general bibliography; a detailed paragraph on the volume's editor; notes on the individual chapter authors; and, a subject index.
Fictional Feminism Chapter Five “Consider the Alternatives”: Feminism and Ambivalence in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s TaleThis book focuses on the ways in which second-wave feminism has been represented in American popular culture, and on the effects that these representations have had on feminism as a political movement. Kim Loudermilk provides close readings of four best-selling novels and their film adaptations. According to Loudermilk, each of these novels contains explicitly feminist characters and themes, yet each presents a curiously ambivalent picture of feminism; these texts at once take feminism seriously and subtly undercut its most central tenets. This book argues that these texts create a kind of "fictional feminism" that recuperates feminism's radical potential, thereby lessening the threat it presents to the status quo.