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Joan Foster is the bored wife of a myopic ban-the-bomber. She takes off overnight as Canada's new superpoet, pens lurid gothics on the sly, attracts a blackmailing reporter, skids cheerfully in and out of menacing plots, hair-raising traps, and passionate trysts, and lands dead and well in Terremoto, Italy. In this remarkable, poetic, and magical novel, Margaret Atwood proves yet again why she is considered to be one of the most important and accomplished writers of our time.
I should think. I don’t expect your Women’s Libber fans will be too overjoyed when they hear the news, though some other people I could think of might find it amusing. Not to mention the Braeside Banner. Those pictures of you are really fine. Tell me, how did you manage to lose all that avoirdupois?” “What do you want?” I said. “Well, that depends,” he said crisply, “on what you’ve got to offer. In exchange, you might say.” “Let me put on some clothes,” I said, “and we’ll talk it over.” “I
knitting wool as she ran, and her feet became hopelessly entangled. As she fell, iron fingers closed around her throat … she tried to scream, she struggled, her eyes bulged, she looked wildly around for Redmond. From behind her came a mocking laugh – Felicia’s! “There wasn’t room for both of us,” she said, “one of us had to die.” Just as Charlotte was sinking into unconsciousness, Felicia was flung aside like a bundle of old clothes, and Charlotte was gazing up into the dark eyes of Redmond.
fur coats and heavy tweeds, which made her look even taller and fatter. In one of my earliest memories of her I’m sitting on her wide, woolly lap – hers was the only lap I remember sitting on, and my mother would say, “Get down, Joan, don’t bother your Aunt Louisa” – and stroking the fur of the fox she wore around her neck. This was a real fox, it was brown, it wasn’t as mangy as it later became; it had a tail and four paws, black beady eyes and a cool plastic nose, though underneath its nose,
said he was discouraged and should probably go home, so I went up instead and had a hot chocolate and some petit fours and a shrimp sandwich. Aunt Lou had a double Scotch. “It’s his mother,” she said. “That’s the third week in a row she hasn’t turned up. She was always a little thoughtless. Robert’s wife couldn’t stand her, she refuses to go to church with him at all. ‘If you ever do get to talk to that old horror,’ she told him, ‘I don’t want to be there.’ I think that’s a bit cruel, don’t
again; it gave her something to supervise. She made all the funeral arrangements, efficiently and with a certain grim relish. She sent out notices and replied to cards and telephone calls (from Aunt Lou’s office, all of them) and placed an announcement in the paper. My father wasn’t up to it. He took several days off from the hospital and wandered about the house in his maroon leather slippers, getting in my mother’s way as she bustled about and saying, “Poor Lou,” over and over, like some