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Burning Questions

de Margaret Atwood

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277797,596 (3.98)48
From literary icon Margaret Atwood comes a brilliant collection of nonfiction -- funny, erudite, intimate, impassioned, and always startlingly prescient -- which grapples with such wide-ranging topics as: Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories? How do we get rid of the immense amount of plastic that's littering our seas and lands? How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating? Is science fiction now writing us? So what if beauty is only skin deep? What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism? Is it true? And is it fair? In over fifty pieces, taken from lectures, autobiographical essays, book reviews, cultural criticism, obituaries, and new introductions to her own body of work (including "The Handmaid's Tale" thirty years after its initial publication) as well as that of other writers, we watch Atwood aim her prodigious intellect and impish humor at the world, and report back to us on what she finds. From asking what society's youth expects from its elders (2004), to pondering the philosophical underpinnings of debt (2008, not surprisingly), to encountering a mysterious new platform called Twitter (2009), to asking if it is, in fact, too late to save the planet (2015) or what forces have been unleashed in the age of Trump (2016), and culminating in a breathtaking meditation on grief and poetry in the wake of her own loss (2020), Atwood provokes, probes, delights, surprises, and rewards the reader at every turn" --… (més)
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» Mira també 48 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 7 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This was my first Margaret Atwood book, which has me resolved to read more Margaret Atwood books. Reading her words is like listening to a bohemian aunt who has lived an interesting life and whose wisdom is colored by the pessimistic lens through which she views the world. I enjoyed every essay, even when she was talking about a book I had never heard of or a topic I wasn't that interested in; a good writer can make any topic worth your time. ( )
  AngelClaw | Dec 30, 2023 |
Atwood's writings from here and there, over the years. Not a coherent collection in my opinion, but an interesting listen. I'm not sure if I remember much after a couple of months, though. ( )
  Iira | Oct 7, 2023 |
This book contains sixty essays, speeches, introductions and musings written by Margaret Atwood between the years of 2004 and 2021. This is such a wide variety of topics, both literary and current events, that my head is still spinning - it feels like a virtual fire hose of information.

Some were absolutely brilliant and spoke to me. I especially enjoyed her writings about the [Hand Maid’s Tale] and how it seems so prophetic today. I also enjoyed the writings about [Alice Monro], another Canadian author who is a favorite of mine.

With this huge breadth of subjects, some did not resonate. I was not familiar with some of the authors she wrote about – I’m sure this is a lacking on my part and I should take as recommendations the unfamiliar-to-me authors she praises.

This woman is brilliant. Alas, she sometimes left me in the dust. Although I read only a few essays each day, I think I need to have a copy of this in my own library, to revisit even more slowly. ( )
  streamsong | May 14, 2023 |
A little like reading a dictionary, this book had so many short essays I had to keep putting it down to digest what I had read. What came across most were Atwood's environmental interests, her censorship concerns, her fascination in fashion in fiction, and her feminism (and appreciations of many other authors). Below follows my own notes on each of the chapters of the book, really just for my own reference (with apologies for anyone who might venture reading these notes for bad grammar and cryptic messages:
Intro: biog; Science fiction:one term thought to cancel out the other
Frozen : Franklin expedition analysis (pictures gave her nightmares, led to her short story The Age of Lead in Wilderness Tips)
From Eve Marilyn French history of women
Polonia advice to others essay
Somebody's Daughter women writing
Five Visits : about writing, biography "Proust never had to flog his books in a women's lingerie department "
The Echo Maker: synopsis of Richard Powers' book "who wants to be reduced to a set of electrochemical connections in a lump of corrugated grey tissue?
Wetlands: environmental speech
Trees of life: environmental speech
Ryszard: author appreciation
Anne of Green: synopsis
Alice Munro: author appreciation
Ancient Balances: about money as taboo "student credit companies ought be be considered child exploitation because neurologists say the adolescent brain is not capable of doing the long term buy-now, pay-later math"
Scrooge : analysis of dickens' character
A writing life: daily diary for 1 week
arthur lismer: The writer as political: on the censorship of books (including murdered journalists)
Literature and the Environment: PEN international, on stories, reading "brain scientists tell us that people assimilate things much better through stories than through recitals of mere facts", on storytelling, development of the alphabet, "reading is based on the same neural program as the one used for tracking, in the sense of animal tracking" (wonder if readers get lost geographically less often than non readers): ancient Chinese "shell bone writing" characters scratched on turtle shells and bones used for divination (reminds me of the cut up technique of Burroughs); how words can be interpreted into different meanings.
Alice Munro: short description of when Atwood and Munro visited Munro's bronze statue
The gift: appreciation of Lewis Hyde's book "I recommend it without fail to aspiring writers, and painters, and musicians"
Bring up the bods: appreciation of hill mantel 's Tudor books
Uss relativity: Dali paradox/melting clock effect, slows passage of time to gradual halt
Pogo paradox, causality loop in which interference to prevent actually triggers an event.
Rachel Carson: appreciation
The Futures Market: Atwood zombie novel online at Wattpad.com :2012 Maya long count calendar funny, bigert &bergström
Why I Wrote Maddaddam: Atwood on her own novel
Seven Gothic: Karen blixen's short stories
Dr sleep: king is a triplet with Dali and Rockwell; "Wild ectoplasmic partially decayed vampire horses would not tear me from the story"
Doris Lessing: if there were a mount Rushmore of twentieth century authors, Doris would be carved on it (Gutzon Borglum sculptor)
How to change the world: ecological conference speech : first question asked about any new invention by possible funders is not whether it will save the planet but whether it will make lots of money
In translationland: w g sebald writer & Norfolk & translators
On beauty: essay on girls make-up
The summer of stromatolites: short account of arctic holiday
Kafka: Atwood's 3 experiences of his influence different times.
Future library: contemplating words destined to be read first in 100 years
Reflections on the hand: Atwood's own analysis
We are double plus: look at sociology and freedom
Buttons or bows: look at detailed fashion in fiction
Gabrielle Roy: biography of Canadian author
Shakespeare: appreciation and rewiring the tempest
Hagseed: commissioned by Random House as part of its Hogarth Shakespeare
Marie-clair Blaise: appreciation of Canadian author , grim retelling of red riding hood etc
Kiss of fur queen: another Canadian author : fiction about native American children abused in modern school: artist norval morrisseau
kiss of the spider woman
What art under trump: censorship: suggesting sci fi USA was under the radar criticism of McCarthy era society
Illustrated man: Ray Bradbury essay
Am I a bad feminist: on feminism : censorship, in fighting UBC, Canadian civil liberties, b.c. civil liberties, PEN Canada, PEN international, Canadian journalists for free expression, index on censorship & public (e) inquiry, legal system broken
We Lost Ursula: recommend reading the earthsea trilogy after the loss of a friend
Three tarot: Atwood speech on writing : assimilating core texts (does Atwood know how hard it is to obtain some "core texts" she herself mentions IE sailor moon, Gabrielle Roy, in UK?)
Akhmatova banned in USSR for decades(what it felt like living under Stalin's reign): censorship North Korea author bandi, book called the accusation smuggled out of North Korea: autobiography: ramosham author alternative ending to stories, Charlotte Brontë villette: a crystal age by w h Hudson (utopia novel 1887): Jack London 1908 novel The Iron Heel, dystopia hoping for a utopian future ( )
  AChild | Mar 23, 2023 |
Series of essays written between 2004 and 2021 on topics related to social trends and possible future disruptions. Atwood is a big picture thinker. She takes an idea the relates it to other relevant subjects and themes, making her points along the way. Margaret Atwood’s essays are intelligent and witty. Her self-deprecating sense of humor shines through. She addresses issues such as civil rights, climate change, feminism, and literature. Provides a peek into the process of writing several of her books. I enjoyed her answers to questions she is often asked by readers. This compilation includes speeches she has given on a variety of occasions, and essays she has written over seventeen years, so there are a few overlaps and repetitions. Margaret Atwood is a treasure. In my opinion, we can never have enough writers like Atwood who boldly push boundaries and spur people to think about important topics. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
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From literary icon Margaret Atwood comes a brilliant collection of nonfiction -- funny, erudite, intimate, impassioned, and always startlingly prescient -- which grapples with such wide-ranging topics as: Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories? How do we get rid of the immense amount of plastic that's littering our seas and lands? How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating? Is science fiction now writing us? So what if beauty is only skin deep? What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism? Is it true? And is it fair? In over fifty pieces, taken from lectures, autobiographical essays, book reviews, cultural criticism, obituaries, and new introductions to her own body of work (including "The Handmaid's Tale" thirty years after its initial publication) as well as that of other writers, we watch Atwood aim her prodigious intellect and impish humor at the world, and report back to us on what she finds. From asking what society's youth expects from its elders (2004), to pondering the philosophical underpinnings of debt (2008, not surprisingly), to encountering a mysterious new platform called Twitter (2009), to asking if it is, in fact, too late to save the planet (2015) or what forces have been unleashed in the age of Trump (2016), and culminating in a breathtaking meditation on grief and poetry in the wake of her own loss (2020), Atwood provokes, probes, delights, surprises, and rewards the reader at every turn" --

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