The Edible Woman
Publication Date: August 1, 1989
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Marian has a problem. A willing member of the consumer society in which she lives, she suddenly finds herself identifying with the things being consumed. She can cope with her tidy-minded fiancé, Peter, who likes shooting rabbits. She can cope with her job in market research, and the antics of her roommate. She can even cope with Duncan, a graduate student who seems to prefer laundromats to women. But not being able to eat is a different matter. Steak was the first to go. Then lamb, pork, and the rest. Next came her incapacity to face an egg. Vegetables were the final straw. But Marian has her reasons, and what happens next provides an unusual solution. Witty, subversive, hilarious, The Edible Woman is dazzling and utterly original. It is Margaret Atwood’s brilliant first novel, and the book that introduced her as a consummate observer of the ironies and absurdities of modern life.
Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
She is the author of more than forty books — novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children. Atwood’s work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye — both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride, winner of the Trillium Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and Oryx and Crake, a finalist for The Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the Orange Prize, and the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent books of fiction are The Penelopiad, The Tent, and Moral Disorder. She is the recipient of numerous honours, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the U.K., the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S., Le Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.
“Articulate and sophisticated.…Extraordinarily witty, and full of ironic observation.…A tour de force.…”
“[Atwood is] one of the most intelligent and talented writers to set herself the task of deciphering life in the late twentieth century.”
“Remarkable.…The Edible Woman assumes the force of a banal dream that has turned, without the dreamer quite noticing, into a nightmare.…[It] conceals the kick of a perfume bottle converted into a Molotov cocktail.”
“Delightful – spare, precise, mordantly witty.…Exquisitely written.”
–Journal of Canadian Fiction
“[The Edible Woman] is chock-full of startling images, superbly and classically crafted.…”
“Few writers are able to combine wit and humour.…Margaret Atwood is a poet and novelist who seems to be able to do anything she wants.”
“Funny, sharp, witty, clever.”
–The Times (U.K.)
“Marked by a keen eye for evocative details which cohere into vivid incidents.”
“[Atwood is] a subtle and penetrating observer of relationships between men and women.”
–Sunday Times (U.K.)
“Reflections on marriage, guilt and the relationship between the sexes – classic Atwood territory.”
–The Guardian (U.K.)
“[Atwood] knows exactly what she is doing with every phrase.”