Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.
Thus begins The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel. Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent Industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While coping with her unreliable body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following: as Iris says, she herself lives 'in the long shadow cast by Laura'.
Sexually explicit for its time, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a man on the run. During their secret meetings in rented rooms, the lovers concoct a pulp fantasy set on the Planet Zycron. As the invented story twists through love and sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real one, as events in both move closer to war and catastrophe. By turns lyrical, outrageous, formidable, compelling and funny, this is a novel filled with deep humour and dark drama. It is Margaret Atwood at her breathtaking best.
Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. The bridge was being repaired: she went right through the Danger sign. The car fell a hundred feet into the ravine, smashing thr...
Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. In addition to The Handmaid's Tale, now an award-winning TV series, her…
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