"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.
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.
I'd recommend this, primarily, to anyone enamoured of Atwood's writing and eager to look deeper into her mind.