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Posts tagged ‘margaret atwood’

The Future Library: Why Didn’t I Think Of This?

A Scottish artist named Katie Paterson came up with the best idea ever.

Books, at least the traditional kind, need paper. And did you know paper comes from trees? How ’bout that?

With that in mind, Paterson developed a brilliant project.

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10 Great Authors Worth Following On Twitter

I love Twitter.

Twitter is seriously my one-stop shop for news, book reviews, entertainment, and sports. (Follow me @robertbruce76).

It’s so much more useful and practical than Facebook and even going straight to a news source.

I follow quite a few authors and book publishers on Twitter. And I’m not sure how many of you are on Twitter, but for those interested, I thought I’d share some of the more notable authors I follow. You might want to follow them yourself.

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Book #24: The Blind Assassin

Back when I read Go Tell It On The Mountain, I said I enjoyed James Baldwin as a writer even more than his book. The plot, the characters—all of that was excellent—but when I finished the book, his writing left more of an impression on me than his story.

I have the same type of feeling about Margaret Atwood and The Blind Assassin. The story—or multiple stories—developed slowly and had a big payoff at the end. But Atwood’s writing knocked me off my feet. Literally. Like, I fell down after reading page 289. Okay, not literally. But, figuratively speaking, Atwood picked me up and threw me down a staircase.

Last week, I posted about how well she nailed the voice of Iris Chase—the 83-year-old narrator. Atwood manages to show wit, snarkiness, regret, humor, self-deprecation and unbelievable wisdom and insight through this one character. I might have underlined more passages in this novel than any of the first 24.

If you’ve read anything about The Blind Assassin, you’re probably aware that the novel is several stories in one—all of which eventually tie together. You’ve got the main storyline—which is really two stories in one—present day Iris Chase, living alone, and carrying the weight of her family’s history and her mistakes on her shoulders.

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A One-Liner Extravaganza: The Blind Assassin

With the possible exception of Infinite Jest and Catch 22, The Blind Assassin might have more good one-liners than any of the first 24 books. But these aren’t just one-liners in the witty, Jay Leno, cue-the-snare-drum sense of the word.

Margaret Atwood can do that, though she’s much more funny than Jay Leno. But she can also pack an amazing amount of wisdom and insight into just a few words. The woman is gifted.

As a writer, Margaret Atwood is both profound and witty. I’ve found my blue pen has underlined sentences all throughout this book.

Some favorites (and there are many more):

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Margaret Atwood’s 3 Reasons To Keep Physical Books

We’ve talked about this topic several times on this blog (here and here), and I don’t want to beat a dead horse. But I think Margaret Atwood has a unique take on whether or not to use physical books or e-readers.

She does see the benefits of both, but she says to be careful if you store all of your books on a digital device. She talks about three reasons you might want to save your copies of physical books.

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Portrait Of The Narrator As An Old Lady

One thing I really appreciate about The Blind Assassin: Margaret Atwood absolutely nailed the narrator’s voice.

Iris Chase is the narrator. She’s an 83-year-old lady who has opinions–lots of them. Opinions about how the kids are dressing these days, about the shape of women, about their ages, their fashion.

Now I’ve never been a grumpy old lady, nor do I plan on ever being a grumpy old lady, but Atwood’s portrayal of Iris Chase strikes me as dead-on–the stereotypical bridge-playing, opinionated, feisty female senior citizen.

This passage stood out to me and should give you a good idea of what I’m talking about:

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Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing

Source: Vanwaffle/Wikimedia Commons

The most popular post in the nearly one-year history of this blog is, by far, Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules of Writing.

Since I’m currently reading through The Blind Assassin, perhaps Margaret Atwood’s most popular novel, I thought we’d take a look at her 10 rules of writing today. Atwood’s rules are a little more tongue-in-cheek than Franzen’s.

This list also comes from The Guardian:

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