Surfacing, Margaret Atwood

“If he was going to die he should have done it visibly, out in the open, so they could mark him with a stone and get it over with.”

I see what you did there, Margaret.

What a coincidence that in the same year you publish Survival–a book of literary criticism that posits that the symbol of Canadian literature is survival–you also publish Surfacing–a book with the central theme of survival. How convenient that you’ve managed to canonize yourself with only a few books under your belt. A useful trick for follow-up authors to remember.

However, I say this with no intention to undermine Surfacing. This brilliant, beautiful book deserves to be a member of the canon. This novel brought Atwood much of her literary fame, but it seems to be forgotten among her other work. Everyone talks about The Handmaid’s Tale, when in actuality, we should be reading ALL THE ATWOOD. So read ALL THE ATWOOD, and then come talk to me (but wait for me to read ALL THE ATWOOD first).

I don’t have much else to say about this book. Here’s the best representation of Canadian literature from Kate Beaton:

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