Friday, April 10, 2015

I have just finished

reading Margaret Atwood's Stone Mattress: Nine Tales, and very much enjoyed the collection.  (image above from here)
I love the short story form, I always enjoy Atwood's writing, and especially enjoyed the mix of humour, and horror - both realistic in that she concentrates on old age in this volume, and fantastical.  These are cautionary tales, not about children in the forest, but about the elderly and their everyday travails - and adventures (!) too.  Perhaps a bit near the bone for a reader in her late 60s, but I recognise the voice, and the truth of the tales. 
Here and here are reviews.
Some years ago I read and equally enjoyed Atwood's Negotiating with the Dead, a collection of essays on writing.  The essays were written for the William Empson Lectures in Oxford.  Essays, like short stories present another form which I relish.  I am now about to embark on the first of two further collections of essays which originated as lectures (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, Harvard).  The first, Six Drawing Lessons by William Kentridge is an object of beauty, even before I have begun to read.


  1. Atwood is my favourite author. I can't believe that this came out and I did not know about it - and it's not even that new. So, thanks for this. Must get it immediately....

    Totally unrelated, Olga, a friend sent me this link:
    and I in turn, am sending it to you. You probably know what the waterfront in Thessaloniki looks like now, but anyway, here it is....
    Must get there soon.

  2. Thank you Eirene. I was last in Thessaloniki in October 2009, and saw the beginnings of the development. I was able to take a walk along the Nea Paralia every morning. It looks really beautiful now.