Magazine article Herizons

[This Place Called Absence]

Magazine article Herizons

[This Place Called Absence]

Article excerpt

When Margaret Atwood writes, the entire world reads. Not withstanding the one negative review (The New York Times Book Review, no less, which in itself was a news item), Atwood went on to win the prestigious Booker Prize for 2000.

True to Atwoodian form, in this, her tenth novel, she takes her readers on roads less travelled. For instance, the title. It is coy and understated-perhaps an oxymoron, a blind assassin? And with that, the reader is hooked, trying to decipher the intricate layers that follow. This house of mirrors story within a story within a story lets us glance into the past, the present and the future.

The novel contains elements of history with its social synopsis of womens' lives in the early 1900s, science fiction with a Scheherazade-like character, spinning a futuristic tale appropriately titled The Blind Assassin, and also contains elements of the mystery genre. All this is combined with an erotic story of forbidden love resulting in a magnificent opus for intelligent readers whose attention span lasts for more than 15 seconds. The narrative is moved forward on three different levels:

(1) Iris Chase Griffen, born in the middle of the Great War, gives us a journal account of her day-to-day existence that contains a deep, penetrating social history of an upper class life. The family mansion is aptly named Avilion. We learn at the onset that Laura has committed suicide after WWII and is a posthumously published author with a cult following. Their father, Norval Chase, the only brother who survived the war, returns home half a man-minus an eye, a bad leg and with a need for drink. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.