Writing with intent : essays, reviews, personal prose, 1983-2005

by Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Paper Book, 2005

Status

Available

Publication

New York : [Berkeley, Calif.] : Carroll & Graf Publishers ; Distributed by Publishers Group West, 2005.

Description

"From one of our most passionately engaged global literary citizens comes Writing with Intent, the largest collection ever assembled of Margaret Atwood's nonfiction, spanning 1983-2005. The fifty-eight essays compiled here are written in a bracing voice that is provocative, witty, often colloquial, and always accessible. Comprised of autobiographical essays, cultural commentary, book and film reviews, eulogies, introductions written for great works of literature, and literary excursions that explore the writing of several of her own novels, this is Atwood's first essay collection in more than two decades, showing that whether writing fiction or nonfiction, she is one of the most probing thinkers in the world of letters today."."Compiled here are the Booker Prize-winning author's reviews of books by John Updike, Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Elmore Leonard, Angela Carter, Beryl Bainbridge, Dashiell Hammett, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Alice McDermott, as well as essays in which she recalls reading Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse at age nineteen, and a piece that examines the influence of George Orwell's work on The Handmaid's Tale. Here is Atwood's New York Times Book Review piece that helped make Orhan Pamuk's Snow a bestseller in 2004, a look back at a family trip to Afghanistan just before the Soviet invasion, and her "Letter to America," written after September 11, 2001."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Nickelini
As the title explains, this is a collection of Atwood's non-fiction writing -- fifty-eight pieces, to be exact. They cover a vast range of topics, as one would expect from this author of vast interests. And as expected, she covers these topics with her usual deft way with words, her sly humour, and her calm wisdom.

Some of the pieces that stood out for me:
"Laughter vs. Death" (originally published as "Atwood on Pornography" in Chatelaine, Sept 1983
"In Search of Alias Grace: On Writing Canadian Historical Fiction
"To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf" (Originally published as "The Indelible Woman", the Guardian, Sept 7, 2002.)
"Letter to America," (originally published in the Nation, April 14, 2003)

Recommended for: people who like to read intelligent non-fiction cultural pieces.
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LibraryThing member kaelirenee
Margaret Atwood has long been one of my favorite authors. This book compiles many short writings of hers-book reviews, remembrances of the writing process, commentaries about current events, introductions and afterwords for other works. In addition to learning a great deal about what influences Atwoods writings (for examples, she was in the midst of writing [Oryx and Crake] when 9/11 happened), I learned about her passion for other writers. Her opinions of other works of literature and her insight into how they matter now is an inspiration for any bibliophile. This is an excellent book for anyone trying to look deeper into Atwood's writings-true, [Handmaid's Tale] is an amazing novel, but after this book, it is possible to understand how Gilead was formed-everything from the kind of dystopia she'd create to the outfits worn.

I'd recommend this, primarily, to anyone enamoured of Atwood's writing and eager to look deeper into her mind.
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LibraryThing member paisley1974
Margaret Atwood is an insightful, thoughtful writer. These essays and reviews were great.

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