Margaret Atwood

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Negotiating with the Dead

book
Non-Fiction
UK Cambridge University Press
2002

Based on the Empson Lectures Margaret Atwood gave at the University of Cambridge in 2000, Negotiating with the Dead is a series of essays examining the craft of writing.

Looking back on her own childhood and the development of her writing career, Margaret Atwood examines the metaphors which writers of fiction and poetry have used to explain - or excuse - their activities, looking at what costumes they have seen fit to assume, what roles they have chosen to play. In her final chapter she takes up the challenge of the book's title: if a writer is to be seen as 'gifted', who is doing the giving and what are the terms of the gift?

Margaret Atwood's wide and eclectic reference to other writers, living and dead, is balanced by anecdotes from her own experiences as a writer, both in Canada and on the international scene. The lightness of her touch is underlined by a seriousness about the purpose and the pleasures of writing, and by a deep familiarity with the myths and traditions of western literature.

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Media
Negotiating with the Dead
Reviews


Juggling well-worn subjects which "get murky or pretentious", this is a streetwise, erudite, suggestive enquiry into problems and myths of the writer's role. Her light touch on hard thoughts, her humour and eclectic quotations, lend enchantment to an argument that has as many undulating tentacles as a well-developed sea anemone. Ruth Padel
The Independent
Full Review


a pleasure to read: erudite, talky, with a beady humour Sam Leith
The Telegraph
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A witty and profound rumination about writing
The Times


a playful, informed and briskly sensible discussion of the writing life Christopher Taylor
The Telegraph
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Witty, erudite and thoughtful Rupert Winchester
The Telegraph
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Representation
Books
Karolina Sutton
+44 (0)20 7393 4428
Email Karolina Sutton
Translation Rights
Sophie Baker
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Sophie Baker
Translation Rights
Claire Nozieres
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Claire Nozieres