Imprisoned by walls of their own construction, here are three people, each in midlife, in midcrisis, forced to make choices—after the rules have changed. Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality, her suppressed rage, is married to the wrong man. She has just lost her latest lover to suicide. Nate, her gentle, indecisive husband, is planning to leave her for Lesje, a perennial innocent who prefers dinosaurs to men. Hanging over them all is the ghost of Elizabeth’s dead lover…and the dizzying threat of three lives careening inevitably toward the same climax.
Margaret Atwood - Cat's Eye
Herself the daughter of a Canadian forest entomologist, Atwood writes in an autobiographical vein about Elaine Risley, a middle-aged Canadian painter (and daughter of a forest entomologist) who is thrust into an extended reconsideration of her past while attending a retrospective show of her work in Toronto, a city she had fled years earlier in order to leave behind painful memories. Most pointedly, Risley reflects on the strangeness of her long relations with Cordelia, a childhood friend whose cruelties, dealt lavishly to Risley, helped hone her awareness of our inveterate appetite for destruction even while we love, and are understood as characteristically femininea betrayal of other women that masks a ferocious betrayal of oneself. Atwood's portrayal of the friendship gives the novel its fraught and mysterious center, but her critical assessment of Cordelia and the "whole world of girls and their doings" also takes the measure of a coercive, conformist society (not quite as extreme as in the futuristic The Handmaid's Tale ). Emerging "the stronger" for her latecoming understanding of herself, Risley in the final pages rises above the ties that bound her, transcendently alive to the possibilities of "light, shining out in the midst of nothing." (From Publisher's Weekly)
Margaret Atwood - The Blind Assassin
The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist. Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact.
Margaret Atwood - The Edible Woman
Ever since her engagement, the strangest thing has been happening to Marian McAlpin: she can't eat. First meat, then eggs, vegetables, cake, pumpkin seeds -- everything! Worse yet, she has the crazy feeling she's being eaten. She really ought to feel consumed with passion. But she just feels...consumed. A brilliant and powerful work rich in irony and metaphor, The Edible Woman is an unforgettable masterpiece by a true master of contemporary literary fiction.
Margaret Atwood - Alias Grace (angol)
In Alias Grace, bestselling author Margaret Atwood has written her most captivating, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying work since The Handmaid's Tale. She takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century. Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?
Margaret Atwood - Wilderness Tips
Here are brilliantly rendered stories that explore themes of loss and discovery, of the gap between youthful dreams and mature reality, of how we connect with others and with the sometimes hidden part of ourselves. In each of these tales Margaret Atwood deftly illuminates the single instant that shapes a whole life: in a few brief pages we watch as characters progress through the passions of youth into the precarious complexities of middle age. By superimposing the past on the present Atwood paints interior landscapes shaped by time, regret and life's lost chances, endowing even the banal with a sense of mystery. Richly layered and disturbing, poignant at times and scathingly witty at others, the stories in Wilderness Tips take us into the strange and secret places of the heart and inform the familiar world in which we live with truths that cut to the bone.
Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
The first and only novel by Sylvia Plath, originally published in 1963. When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. Instead she finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women’s aspirations seriously.
Iris Murdoch - The Black Prince
"The Black Prince" is both a remarkable thriller and a story about being in love. Bradley Pearson, narrator and hero, is an elderly writer with a 'block'. Finding himself surrounded by predatory friends and relations - his ex-wife, her delinquent brother, a younger, deplorably successful writer, Arnold Baffin, Baffin's restless wife and engaging daughter - Bradley attempts to escape. His failure to do so and its aftermath lead to a violent climax and a most unexpected conclusion.
Margaret Atwood - Fellélegzés
Margaret Atwood műve egy fiatal, huszon-egynéhány éves lány "fejlődésregényét" rajzolja meg. A lány visszamegy gyermekkora színterére, szülei házába, mely a kanadai őstermészet peremén, egy szigeten található, és eltűnt apja keresésére indul. E szimbolikus és nagyon is valóságos apakeresés során szembesül múltjával és jelenével, kitör az üres városi létből, "amerikanizálódott", gépiessé vált kapcsolataiból, és egy különös, már-már az abnormitás határát súroló élmény hatására megszabadul első házassága, abortusza nyomasztó emlékétől, hogy ily módon megtisztulva térjen újból az emberek közé. A kanadai írónő filozofikus példázata szerint a normalitáshoz való görcsös ragaszkodás betegség, és meg kell merítkezni az őrületben ahhoz, hogy épelméjűek maradhassunk.
Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides
First published in 1993, "The Virgin Suicides" announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, "The Virgin Suicides" is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
Margaret Atwood - The Penelopiad
As portrayed in Homer's 'Odyssey', Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - has become a symbol of wifely duty and devotion, enduring twenty years of waiting when her husband goes to fight in the Trojan War. As she fends off the attentions of a hundred greedy suitors, travelling minstrels regale her with news of Odysseus' epic adventures around the Mediterranean - slaying monsters and grappling with amorous goddesses. When Odysseus finally comes home, he kills her suitors and then, in an act that served as little more than a footnote in Homer's original story, ruthlessly hangs Penelope's twelve maids.
Cormac McCarthy - The Road
Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth. If this sounds oppressive and dispiriting, it is. McCarthy may have just set to paper the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war, and in this recent age of relentless saber-rattling by the global powers, it's not much of a leap to feel his vision could be not far off the mark nor, sadly, right around the corner. Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten. It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact that greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between the Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else. McCarthy has always written about the battle between light and darkness; the darkness usually comprises 99.9% of the world, while any illumination is the weak shaft thrown by a penlight running low on batteries. In The Road, those batteries are almost out--the entire world is, quite literally, dying--so the final affirmation of hope in the novel's closing pages is all the more shocking and maybe all the more enduring as the boy takes all of his father's (and McCarthy's) rage at the hopeless folly of man and lays it down, lifting up, in its place, the oddest of all things: faith. --Dennis Lehane
Margaret Atwood - A szolgálólány meséje
A regény - egy orwelli ihletésű disztópia - egy jövőbeli, vallási fundamentalista államban játszódik, ahol a főhősnőt csupán azért tartják becsben, mert azon kevesek egyike, akinek termékenysége az atomerőművek által okozott sugárszennyezést követően is megmaradt. Az ultrakonzervatív Gileád Köztársaság - a jövő Amerikája? - szigorú törvények szerint él. A megmaradt kevéske termékeny nőnek átnevelő táborba kell vonulnia, hogy az ott beléjük vert regula szerint hozzák világra az uralkodó osztály gyermekeit. Fredének is csupán egy rendeltetése van az idősödő Serena Joy és pártvezér férje házánál: hogy megtermékenyüljön. Ha letér erről az útról, mint minden eltévelyedettet, őt is felakasztják a Falra, vagy kiűzik a Telepekre, hogy ott haljon meg sugárbetegségben. Ám egy ilyen elnyomó állam sem tudja elnyomni a vágyat - sem Fredéét, sem a két férfiét, akiktől a jövője függ... A regényt 1986-ban Nebula-díjra és Booker-díjra jelölték, 1987-ben pedig megnyerte az első Arthur C. Clarke-díjat. A Booker- és Arthur C. Clarke-díjas kanadai írónő kultuszregényéből - a világhírű Nobel-díjas angol drámaíró, Harold Pinter segítségével - szokatlan gondolati mélységeket feltáró film is készült.
Mitch Albom - The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Part melodrama and part parable, Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven weaves together three stories, all told about the same man: 83-year-old Eddie, the head maintenance person at Ruby Point Amusement Park. As the novel opens, readers are told that Eddie, unsuspecting, is only minutes away from death as he goes about his typical business at the park. Albom then traces Eddie's world through his tragic final moments, his funeral, and the ensuing days as friends clean out his apartment and adjust to life without him. In alternating sections, Albom flashes back to Eddie's birthdays, telling his life story as a kind of progress report over candles and cake each year. And in the third and last thread of the novel, Albom follows Eddie into heaven where the maintenance man sequentially encounters five pivotal figures from his life (a la A Christmas Carol). Each person has been waiting for him in heaven, and, as Albom reveals, each life (and death) was woven into Eddie's own in ways he never suspected. Each soul has a story to tell, a secret to reveal, and a lesson to share. Through them Eddie understands the meaning of his own life even as his arrival brings closure to theirs.
Margaret Atwood - Pénelopeia
A világszerte nagy népszerűségnek örvendő kanadai írónő (A vak bérgyilkos, A szolgálólány meséje) egyedi hangulatú műve a legújabb kötete a Palatinus Kiadó Mítosz-sorozatának, mely korunk legkiválóbb szerzőinek írásait gyűjti csokorba, akik modern és maradandó irodalmi formában alkotnak újjá egy-egy mítoszt. A többszörösen jelölt és szinte minden évben a Nobel-díjra esélyesek között emlegetett szerző ebben a kötetében Odüsszeusz és Pénelopé mítoszát újítja meg izgalmasan eredeti formában. Az alaptörténetet mindenki ismeri: a trójai háborúban harcoló leleményes görög hűséges asszonya minden erejével azon van, hogy egyben tartsa a távol lévő Odüsszeusz ithakai királyságát, és eközben serdülő és egyre harcosabb fiával, Télemakhosszal is boldogulnia kell, valamint kordában kell tartania a kezére pályázó kérők hadát. Atwood mítosz-regényében az asszony lesz az elbeszélő, férje kalandjai csupán hátteréül szolgálnak az izgalmas, játékos és szenvedélyes történetnek. A mű egyszerre hordozza egy filozofikusan bölcs görög dráma és egy ravasz modern regény vonásait.
Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in feeling discontent. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, and a perverse distaste for the pleasures of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress-Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
Nick Hornby - How to Be Good
London GP Katie Carr always thought she was a good person. With her husband David making a living as 'The Angriest Man in Holloway', she figured she could put up with anything. Until, that is, David meets DJ Goodnews and becomes a good person too. A far-too-good person who starts committing crimes of charity like taking in the homeless and giving their kids' toys away. Suddenly Katie's feeling very bad about herself, and thinking that if charity begins at home, then maybe it"s time to move ...
George R. R. Martin - A Game of Thrones
In a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of a throne. Some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. Beyond the Wall to the north, meanwhile, the Others are preparing their army of the dead to march south as the warmth of summer drains from the land. After more than a decade devoted primarily to TV and screen work, Martin (The Armageddon Rag, 1983) makes a triumphant return to high fantasy with this extraordinarily rich new novel, the first of a trilogy. Although conventional in form, the book stands out from similar work by Eddings, Brooks and others by virtue of its superbly developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness. Although the romance of chivalry is central to the culture of the Seven Kingdoms, and tournaments, derring-do and handsome knights abound, these trappings merely give cover to dangerous men and women who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. When Lord Stark of Winterfell, an honest man, comes south to act as the King's chief councilor, no amount of heroism or good intentions can keep the realm under control. It is fascinating to watch Martin's characters mature and grow, particularly Stark's children, who stand at the center of the book. Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes, including Hugos, Nebulas, Locus Awards and a Bram Stoker. He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least. Major ad/promo.
Margaret Atwood - The Year of the Flood
Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, the preservation of all species, the tending of the Earth, and the cultivation of bees and organic crops on flat rooftops - has long predicted the Waterless Flood. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have avoided it: the young trapeze-dancer, Ren, locked into the high-end sex club, Scales and Tails; and former SecretBurgers meat-slinger turned Gardener, Toby, barricaded into the luxurious AnooYoo Spa, where many of the treatments are edible. Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda, or the MaddAddam eco-fighters? Ren's one-time teenage lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the CorpSeCorps, the shadowy and corrupt policing force of the ruling powers. Meanwhile, in the natural world, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through a ruined world, singing their devotional hymns and faithful to their creed and to their Saints - Saint Francis Assisi, Saint Rachel Carson, and Saint Al Gore among them - what odds for Ren and Toby, and for the human race? By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful and uneasily hilarious, _The Year of the Flood_ is Atwood at her most effective.
Margaret Atwood - Oryx and Crake
Pigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once named Jimmy, lives in a tree, wrapped in old bedsheets, now calls himself Snowman. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility.
Margaret Atwood - Lady Oracle
From fat girl to thin, from red hair to mud brown, from London to Toronto, from Polish count to radical husband, from writer of romances to distinguished poet - Joan Foster is utterly confused by her life of multiple identities. She decides to escape to an Italian hill town to take stock of her life. But first, she must organise her own death...