The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood was published in 2000. It is a highly acclaimed novel that won the Man Booker Prize in 2000, the Hammett Prize in 2001, and was nominated for Governor General’s Award in 2000, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2002.
The novel is best described by Lev Grossman of TIME: ‘Frosty, reserved Iris and her hot-blooded sister Laura grow up wealthy and privileged in a chilly Canadian town. But when the family fortune falters in the Depression, Iris is married off to a cruel industrialist, and Laura drives her car off a bridge, leaving behind a pulpy science fiction novel (presented in parallel to the primary plot) that seems to contain a coded, masked guide to the secrets that ruled her life and brought about her early death. Told in the brittle, acerbic voice of the elderly Iris, who is left behind to decode Laura’s legacy, The Blind Assassin is a tour-de-force of nested narratives, subtle reveals and buried memories.’
The Blind Assassin is a novel to read and definitely makes my TBR list. Its plot and characters are twisted and complex. From what I read about this book it’s difficult to say anything specific about it without revealing something that should be revealed through reading. The best article I read about this book was Wheels Within Wheels by Thomas Malon and this quote I think probably best encapsulates the driving force behind this novel:
‘Nearly 20 years ago, in speaking of her craft, the novelist Margaret Atwood observed that ”a character in a book who is consistently well behaved probably spells disaster for the book.”’