Wilderness Tips

Wilderness Tips

by Margaret Atwood

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Overview

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale

In these ten richly layered and disturbing tales, Booker Prize-winning Margaret Atwood author deftly illuminates the single moments that can shape an entire life. In a few brief pages we watch as characters progress from the vulnerabilities of adolescence through the passions of youth into the precarious complexities of middle age. By superimposing the past on the present, Atwood paints interior landscapes shaped by time, regret, and life's lost chances, endowing even the banal with a sense of mystery. Poignant at times and scathingly witty at others, the stories in Wilderness Tip stake us into the strange and secret places of the heart and inform the familiar world in which we live with truths that cut to the bone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385491112
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1998
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 569,064
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; Oryx and Crake, short-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize; The Year of the Flood; and her most recent, MaddAddam. She is the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award, and lives in Toronto with the writer Graeme Gibson. 

www.margaretatwood.ca

Hometown:

Toronto, Ontario

Date of Birth:

November 18, 1939

Place of Birth:

Ottawa, Ontario

Education:

B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967

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Wilderness Tips 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
exlibrisbitsy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Wilderness Tips, Margaret Atwood writes ten short stories that are at once poignant and deeply disturbing. Each story illustrates one moment in a person¿s life that changes them forever. They grow from young and idealistic to old and bitter in the space of a few pages and all of the stories ended up being dark in one way or another. They all carried themes of loss, missed opportunities, mistakes, dead ends and sad realizations.They all took place in Canada, with some containing native Canadians and some transplanted from England or Europe. They almost all featured promiscuity and sexual affairs, often as the norm, and they all had one hard earned life lesson to impart. The tales spanned the decades from ¿the war years¿ of World War II up until the late eighties and early nineties and all of the changes that took place in that time. The women¿s movement took special prominence in these stories as they described the changes they in particular experience over that span of sixty years of human history, especially the changing face of womanhood and feminism.Of the stories that struck me the most there was "True Trash", illuminating the difference between the "dot dot dot" of romance in the war years and the sexually explicit romance of modern day. "Hairball" was also a disturbing look at the changing face of womanhood and what women have had to give up in order to get ahead. "Death by Landscape" was one of the more horrifying stories about a camping trip gone horribly wrong and the insight, or perhaps just blind stabbing hope, it left one of the campers with. "The Age of Lead" was especially poignant because it wasn't until long after this book was published that the bpa-lining in plastic containers was discovered to be bad and that was just more of the same of the over arching theme in this story, making this one incredibly relevant to modern day.While the themes may have been dark all of these stories had an inner kernel of truth that both you and the characters cannot escape. Time goes by fast, change happens, choices have to be made but it is ultimately you that has to live with the consequences.Favorite Quote: It's the forties look," she says to George, hand on her hip, doing a pirouette. "Rosie the Riveter. From the war. Remember her?" George, whose name is not really George, does not remember. He spent the forties rooting through garbage bag heaps and begging, and doing other things unsuitable for a child. He has a dim memory of some film star posed on a calendar tattering on a latrine wall. Maybe this is the one Prue means. He remembers for an instant his intense resentment of the bright, ignorant smile, the well-fed body. A couple of buddies had helped him take her apart with the rusty blade from a kitchen knife they'd found somewhere in the rubble. He does not consider telling any of this to Prue. --Wilderness Tips
knittingfreak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It seems that I've been on somewhat of a Margaret Atwood binge here of late. It started with the Handmaid's Tale, then Cat's Eye, followed by The Penelopiad. In addition, I ordered and have sitting on my shelves Alias Grace and the Blind Assassin. I finished my latest helping of Atwood a couple days ago. Wilderness Tips is a short story collection, which deals with a lot of the same types of themes that Atwood is known for in her writing. Women always play prominent roles. For the most part the women are strong or are struggling against oppression to exert their strength. There are ten stories in this collection, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed them all. It would be extremely difficult to pick one as a favorite. I guess if I had to single one out, it would be "Weight" simply because I continue to think about this story.It begins with a woman trying to get a businessman to make a charitable donation over dinner. It's obvious that she's willing to do whatever it takes to secure his donation for her cause -- a battered women's shelter. In fact, she lets us know that this is not the first time that she's used her sexuality to get what she wants from a man. She's never married and doesn't think she ever will. She's not sure that she wants to. But there is some ambiguity there. As the story progresses, we learn that she and her friend, Molly, started adult life as young, idealistic attorneys who were going to help women and change the world in the process. She describes Molly as optimistic and caring -- someone who sees the best in others and believes that she can make things better for them. As the story continues, we learn that Molly eventually marries and has children, but things are not as they should be. She considers leaving her husband and discusses it with her friend. I can't really say any more about the story without giving too much away. However, I think it's interesting that the author decides to put an educated, middle class, feminist into this particular situation. I think society often assumes that women who find themselves in destructive relationships are often poor and uneducated. They stay with their man because they have no other options or don't know what else to do. That's one of the things that I really like about Atwood. She doesn't always follow the conventional wisdom. She looks at things from all angles and her characters are multidimensional.Though feminist in nature, her writing doesn't paint all men as evil and all women as victims (thank goodness!). It's much more complex than that. No matter what I've read by Margaret Atwood -- novel, short story, poetry -- she always makes me think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago