- The Edible Woman (1969)
- Surfacing (1972)
- Lady Oracle (1976)
- Life Before Man (1979) - finalist for the 1979 Governor General's Award
- Bodily Harm (1981)
- The Handmaid's Tale (1985) - winner of the 1987 Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 1985 Governor General's Award.
- Cat's Eye (1988) -
The other day, I read a review on bookslut about her latest book of poems. She still writes poems? Where did she go? After Cat's Eye, I fell out of love. It was the first time I had been disappointed by a writer. I remember the story beginning so pedestrian, so Anne Tylerish (I don't know if I'm right in my memory...that's just the vague recollection I have). Once I went to college I didn't think of her again.
So she dropped out of my periphery. When she came to do a reading in Salt Lake, I was like, whatever man. Crowds and such. She's too popular, therefore too lame (I guess that was what I felt...again hazy or lazy with the details).
But then, two years ago I read Oryx and Crake. That might be my favorite book of all time. I like books about young boys and apocalypses. Then I read the Blind Assassin. Not my fave, but still, fine. Mythological.
Yesterday, I bought the Robber Bride. If I had my druthers (meaning not having 10 essays to comment on) I'd read it all day.
I wonder, as I write this sort of bullet-pointed post without the bullets, where does Atwood stand on the measuring stick of great writers? In some ways, because she's prolific, she falls into the Updike, Joyce Carol Oates list. Her writing is more akin to John Irving and Tom Robbins--who, are prolific too, I guess. But to me she stands apart--poet and novelist. Not afraid to be political. Willing to let a book fail because of its politics.
I say that I like her very much. Admire her. Maybe the most. And that maybe I didn't go see her in Salt Lake because I want to love her with my singular love and not look at all those other lovers who want to love her singularly too. But next time she comes to a town near me, I'll go. I'll see if I can ask her a lame-free way of asking how she does it.