Sunday, January 3, 2016
Margaret Atwood’s writing cast a spell on me again.
These stories have the satirical wit of Kurt Vonnegut, the enchanting stream of consciousness of James Joyce, the insightful ingenuity and visionary power of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. Her prose exudes the deep understanding of the human soul that writers like Grazia Deledda and Kate Chopin had, but the tales in "Stone Mattress" are fresh. They are enmeshed in the problems that assail humanity today.
There is something unique about her style and the details she displays to portray her characters. She makes you believe you’ve met them in person, and there are comments on matters that are ignored by the modern writers of the establishment.
The stories in this collection take place in Canada and the United States of America. The same characters are followed over time through a succession of tales. In doing this, she exposes the changes of the society in which they live. Some of the situations made me drown in laughter.
Whether you like her main characters or not is not important because she kindles our empathy. There are many twists that render the read agile and adventurous.
I will share Ursula Le Guin’s surreal description of “Stone Mattress”:
“Dances of the dark swamps of Horror on the wings of satirical wit… Look at these tales… as eight icily refreshing arsenic Popsicles followed by a baked Alaska laced with anthrax, all served with impeccable style and aplomb. Enjoy!”