Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth

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Anansi, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 230 pages
15 Reviews

Legendary poet, novelist, and essayist Margaret Atwood gives us a surprising look at the topic of debt -- a timely subject during our current period of economic upheaval, caused by the collapse of a system of interlocking debts. Atwood proposes that debt is like air -- something we take for granted until things go wrong.

Payback is not a book about practical debt management or high finance, although it does touch upon these subjects. Rather, it is an investigation into the idea of debt as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature, and the structure of human societies. By investigating how debt has informed our thinking from preliterate times to the present day through the stories we tell each other, through our concepts of balance, revenge, and sin, and in the way we form our social relationships, Atwood shows that the idea of what we owe one another -- in other words, debt -- is built into the human imagination and is one of its most dynamic metaphors.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Niecierpek - LibraryThing

Not bad, but not what I expected. It discusses 'payback' as a philosophical and moral issue, and uses Dr Faustus and Ebenezer Scrooge as leitmotives to discuss it. It's much more literary than I expected. I guess I thought it would be tackled from a much more economic point of view. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mahallett - LibraryThing

very enjoyable. atwood has a very stupid chuckle which is kind of endearing. i don't want to live with it but okay for a bit. i enjoyed the first 4 but the last put me off. i have very little time for dickens, especially scrooge and it was a modern arrangement of scrooge. Read full review

Contents

3?o
3
The Shadow Side
122
Payback
162
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Margaret Atwood is one of the world's preeminent writers -- winner of the Booker Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Governor General's Literary Award, among many other honours. She is the bestselling author of more than thirty-five books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake. She and her spouse, writer Graeme Gibson, are the Joint Honourary Presidents of the Rare Bird Club within Birdlife International. She is an International Vice President of PEN.

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