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Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature

Margaret Atwood

1 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Literature: history & criticism

Margaret Atwood's superb exploration of stories and storytelling, myths and their reinventions, fiction and fact, the weirdness of nature, and the strangeness of the Canadian North.

Margaret Atwood's witty and informative book focuses on the imaginative mystique of the wilderness of the Canadian North. She discusses the 'Grey Owl Syndrome' of white writers going native; the folklore arising from the mysterious-- and disastrous -- Franklin expedition of the nineteenth century; the myth of the dreaded snow monster, the Wendigo; the relations between nature writing and new forms of Gothic; and how a fresh generation of women writers in Canada have adapted the imagery of the Canadian North for the exploration of contemporary themes of gender, the family and sexuality. Writers discussed include Robert Service, Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, E.J. Pratt, Marian Engel, Margaret Laurence, and Gwendolyn MacEwan.

This superbly written and compelling portrait of the mysterious North is at once a fascinating insight into the Canadian imagination, and an exciting new work from an outstanding literary presence.

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Praise for Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature

  • [a] wittily patriotic collection of lectures - INDEPENDENT on Sunday

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Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and now Oryx and Crake for the 2003 Booker prize. She has won many literary prizes in other countries.

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