Author(s): Margaret Atwood
A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatalite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle - and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.
I’m not usually drawn to short story collections, but this was Margaret Atwood. These stories all have a slightly unsettling feeling that I always find with Atwood, and they all deal with the theme of ageing in some way. Characters overlap in the first three stories, which give a nice sense of continuity, each shedding light on our previous assumptions. Retirement homes will come under threat and people may be vampires. My personal favourite is about a woman figuring out how to commit the perfect murder on a cruise ship in the Arctic, but there’s really something for everyone. - Holly
Nine darkly humorous tales from one of today's greatest writers
One of the most important writers in English today Germaine Greer Margaret Atwood is the quiet Mata Hari, the mysterious, violent figure ... who pits herself against the ordered, too clean world like an arsonist Michael Ondaatje It's easy to appreciate the grand array of Margaret Atwood's works ... in all their power and grace and variety. When I think of it, and put it together with her writerly gifts and achievements, it takes my breath away Alice Munro Atwood is a poet. Scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work John Updike
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize, and the MaddAddam trilogy: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. She is the winner of many awards, which, in addition to the Booker, include the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, France's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Italy's Premio Mondello and, in 2014, the Orion Book Award for Fiction. In 2012 she was awarded the title of Companion of Literature by The Royal Society of Literature. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada. margaretatwood.ca @MargaretAtwood