Oryx and Crake
By Margaret Atwood
(Nan A. Talese, Hardcover, 9780385503853, 400pp.)
Publication Date: May 6, 2003
Categories: Science Fiction - General
A stunning and provocative new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize
Margaret Atwood’s new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.
This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For readers of Oryx and Crake, nothing will ever look the same again.
The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.
With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers.
Margaret Atwood’s books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye – shortlisted for the Booker Prize;Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; and her most recent, The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. Oryx and Crake is her eleventh novel.
Praise for The Blind Assassin:
"The first great novel of the new millennium."
"Absorbing . . . expertly rendered . . . Virtuosic storytelling [is] on display."
—New York Times
"Brilliant . . . Opulent . . . Atwood is a poet . . . as well as a contriver of fiction, and scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work, adding to a picture that becomes enormous."
—John Updike, The New Yorker
"Chilling . . . Lyrical . . . [Atwood's] most ambitious work to date."
"Hauntingly powerful . . . A novel of luminous prose, scalpel-precise insights and fierce characters . . . Atwood's new work is so assured, so elegant and so incandescently intelligent, she casts her contemporaries in the shade."
—The Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Grand storytelling on a grand scale... Sheerly enjoyable."
—Washington Post Book World
"Bewitching . . . A killer novel . . . Atwood's crisp wit and steely realism are reminiscent of Edith Wharton . . . A wonderfully complex narrative."
—Christian Science Monitor