The Cambridge companion to Margaret Atwood /

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Howells, Coral Ann.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

These 12 essays provide an overview of Atwood's oeuvre to date and a "framework of contemporary issues and critical approaches" within which to read specific works. This book joins a dozen other such collections published in the past three decades, but this volume's particular strength is the international group of contributors Howells (Univ. of Reading, UK) chose and the combination of established and progressive approaches they take to Atwood's writing. The volume opens with a masterful account of Atwood's life and career, and that essay segues effectively into an analysis of Atwood's management of her national and international "celebrity." Though the essayists' themes represent little that is new to Atwood criticism--the rhetorical effects of her poetic voice; the dialectic of private and public histories; gender and genre issues in short stories, prose poems, and dystopias--some of the critical approaches develop interesting new emphases: a Cixousian approach to Atwood's treatment of the female body; a Foucauldian reading of her "power politics"; the sourcing of her irony and satire in the oral traditions of her Nova Scotian heritage; her environmental ethics; and the novelist as apocalyptic. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates. D. R. McCarthy Huron University College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.