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Friday, 10 March 2006

The Tent by: Margaret Atwood

The Tent
Margaret Atwood
January 2006
McClelland & Stewart
156 pages

Incredible! This fascinating collection of stories, poems, and shorts is as intriguing as the many different voices Atwood uses to portray the pieces. The Works in this collection span many years of writing and many of the pieces have previously been published elsewhere in such works as: The Walrus, Harper’s Magazine, New Beginnings, and a few small independent printings of smaller collections.

What draws the reader in, in this compilation, is that every tale is a story about a life, or lives. They are told in first, second or third person accounts, and some are stories of a person telling their own story to save it from the ravages of the press, or from being lost in time.

There is a powerful collection of pieces on orphans that highlights the collection. Atwood uses wit, witticism, irony and dark humour to open our eyes to the lives of others.

A reader will be drawn in by the power of lives, some calm and serine, and some outrageous, and others downright wicked and evil. But all will grab your attention. Read with great attention and take time after each story to reflect upon the message of that piece before moving on. The temptation will be to race through the book, and if you do so, you will be drawn back to reread it more slowly and savor the offerings.

(First Published in Imprint 2006-03-09 as ‘Atwood puts the pieces together in a compilation of her latest work.’)

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