Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature

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Little, Brown Book Group, Oct 1, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 160 pages
2 Reviews

Margaret Atwood's witty and informative book focuses on the imaginative mystique of the wilderness of the Canadian North. She discusses the 'Grey Owl Syndrome' of white writers going native; the folklore arising from the mysterious-- and disastrous -- Franklin expedition of the nineteenth century; the myth of the dreaded snow monster, the Wendigo; the relations between nature writing and new forms of Gothic; and how a fresh generation of women writers in Canada have adapted the imagery of the Canadian North for the exploration of contemporary themes of gender, the family and sexuality. Writers discussed include Robert Service, Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, E.J. Pratt, Marian Engel, Margaret Laurence, and Gwendolyn MacEwan.

This superbly written and compelling portrait of the mysterious North is at once a fascinating insight into the Canadian imagination, and an exciting new work from an outstanding literary presence.

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Review: Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature

User Review  - A.-C. - Goodreads

Loved it. Very insightful and witty. I always enjoy the way Atwood's work - fiction as well as non-fiction - few authors or critics resonate as well with me as she does. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Alias Grace were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Blind Assassin won in 2001, and she has won many other literary prizes in other countries.

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