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Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing


Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing Cover

ISBN13: 9781400032600
ISBN10: 1400032601
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What do we mean when we say that someone is a writer? Is he or she an entertainer? A high priest of the god Art? An improver of readers minds and morals? And who, for that matter, are these mysterious readers? In this wise and irresistibly quotable book, one of the most intelligent writers now working in English addresses the riddle of her art: why people pursue it, how they view their calling, and what bargains they make with their audience, both real and imagined.

To these fascinating issues Margaret Atwood brings a candid appraisal of her own experience as well as a breadth of reading that encompasses everything from Dante to Elmore Leonard. An ambitious artistic inquiry conducted with unpretentiousness and charm, Negotiating with the Dead is an unprecedented insiders view of the writers universe.


The brilliant Booker Prize-winning author of nearly 40 books here addresses the twin arts of writing and reading in what could become a necessary classic for all admirers of great literature.


Booker Prize-winning author address the arts of writing and reading.

About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books, including fiction, poetry, and essays. Her most recent works include the novels Oryx and Crake and the Booker Prize—winning The Blind Assassin as well as the collections Wilderness Tips and Good Bones and Simple Murders. Ms. Atwood lives in Toronto.

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dwrites, September 19, 2011 (view all comments by dwrites)
Atwood's prose in this writer's writer book is easy, that is to say, friendly. Cozy, even. But to breeze over the chapters, culled from a series of lectures Atwood gave at Cambridge, is to miss some delicious morsels that taste as universal and esoteric at the same moment as Atwood's fiction does.

An intriguing catalog in the introduction tells us that writers -- ones we would know, it is hinted -- say that they write "... To set down the past before it is forgotten. To excavate the past *because* it has been forgotten ... To thumb my nose at death ... To attract the love of a beautiful woman ..." and so on, for two and a half pages.

Do two souls inhabit the writer? Are we jekyll and hyde? Which is the "real" writer? How have we reacted over centuries, millennia, to censorship, and where does that response land us? Are we some alien creatures, or is that impression, well, impressed upon us from without? What to do with all those ideas? What to do with all those questions about our ideas?

Atwood brings her own history to the making of this book: A Canadian writer starting out when no Canadian writers existed in the main to show the way, riding the eventual tide and being uniquely Atwood. Stunning theoretical stuff, if you can imagine such a thing (remember this is "friendly" language), purposeful biographical points tucked into the warp and weft of the whole, in all, a fine read with the potential to ignite any mind already simmering.
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Product Details

Atwood, Margaret
Anchor Books
Atwood, Margaret
New York
Composition & Creative Writing - Fiction
Fiction -- Authorship.
General Literary Criticism & Collections
writing;essays;non-fiction;memoir;literary criticism;canadian;literature;canada;margaret atwood;reference;writers;writers on writing;criticism;language;fiction;creative writing;books about books
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.00x5.30x.53 in. .41 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Reference » Writing » General

Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Anchor Books - English 9781400032600 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The brilliant Booker Prize-winning author of nearly 40 books here addresses the twin arts of writing and reading in what could become a necessary classic for all admirers of great literature.
"Synopsis" by , Booker Prize-winning author address the arts of writing and reading.
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