LIFE BEFORE MAN by Margaret Atwood

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Synopsis

Imprisoned by walls of their own construction, here are three people, each in midlife, in midcrisis, forced to make choices--after the rules have changed. Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality, her suppressed rage, is married to the wrong man. She has just lost her latest lover to suicide. Nate, her gentle, indecisive husband, is planning to leave her for Lesje, a perennial innocent who prefers dinosaurs to men. Hanging over them all is the ghost of Elizabeth's dead lover...and the dizzying threat of three lives careening inevitably toward the same climax.
 

About Margaret Atwood

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Born November 18, 1939, in Ottawa, Canada, Margaret Atwood spent her early years in the northern Quebec wilderness. Settling in Toronto in 1946, she continued to spend summers in the northern woods. This experience provided much of the thematic material for her verse. She began her writing career as a poet, short story writer, cartoonist, and reviewer for her high school paper. She received a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1961 and an M.A. from Radcliff College in 1962. Atwood's first book of verse, Double Persephone, was published in 1961 and was awarded the E. J. Pratt Medal. She has published numerous books of poetry, novels, story collections, critical work, juvenile work, and radio and teleplays. Her works include The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970), Power Politics (1971), Cat's Eye (1986), The Robber Bride (1993), Morning in the Buried House (1995), and Alias Grace (1996). Many of her works focus on women's issues. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and fiction including the Prince of Asturias award for Literature, the Booker Prize, the Governor General's Award in 1966 for The Circle Game and in 1986 for The Handmaid's Tale, which also won the very first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. 300 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for LIFE BEFORE MAN

Kirkus Reviews

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To this end, Atwood leaves no self-doubt uncovered, and there are chapters--it's a book of chapters above all, some of them memorable--in which the characters numbly go through rituals (Elizabeth, for instance, visiting the planetarium, staring up at the faked stars) that are as spare and just as...

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The New York Times

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She was aware of the ridiculous spectacle they must make, galloping across campus, something out of a cartoon short, a lumbering elephant stampeded by a smiling, emaciated mouse, both of them locked in the classic pattern of comic pursuit and flight.'' Close kin to the galloping elephant girl is ...

Sep 19 1982 | Read Full Review of LIFE BEFORE MAN

London Review of Books

Graham Hough reviews ‘How far can you go?’ by David Lodge, ‘Life before Man’ by Margaret Atwood, ‘Desirable Residence’ by Lettice Cooper and ‘A Month in the Country’ by J.L.

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Curtis Brown

Life Before Man vividly portrays three people in thrall to the tragicomedy some call love.

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