Old Babes in the Wood – Margaret Atwood

Old Babes in the Wood – Margaret Atwood

I am a Margaret Atwood fan although I haven’t read many of her short stories.

Here’s the blurb …

A dazzling collection of short stories from the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments, stories that look deeply into the heart of family relationships, marriage, loss and memory, and what it means to spend a life together

Margaret Atwood has established herself as one of the most visionary and canonical authors in the world. This collection of fifteen extraordinary stories–some of which have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine–explore the full warp and weft of experience, speaking to our unique times with Atwood’s characteristic insight, wit and intellect.

The two intrepid sisters of the title story grapple with loss and memory on a perfect summer evening; “Impatient Griselda” explores alienation and miscommunication with a fresh twist on a folkloric classic; and “My Evil Mother” touches on the fantastical, examining a mother-daughter relationship in which the mother purports to be a witch. At the heart of the collection are seven extraordinary stories that follow a married couple across the decades, the moments big and small that make up a long life of uncommon love–and what comes after.

Returning to short fiction for the first time since her 2014 collection Stone Mattress, Atwood showcases both her creativity and her humanity in these remarkable tales which by turns delight, illuminate, and quietly devastate.

I listened to this (borrowed from Borrowbox) and some of the stories were narrated by Atwood herself. My favourite story was My Evil Mother. Impatient Griselda is hilarious (particularly in a post-Covid world). All of the stories are excellent and I suspect the Nell and Tig stories (the seven stories about a married couple) might be autobiographical.

Here’s an interview with the ABC.

A review

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