The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride is inspired by "The Robber Bridegroom," a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony,  Charis, and Roz. All three "have lost men, spirit, money, and time to their old college acquaintance, Zenia. At various times, and in various emotional disguises, Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them. To Tony, who almost lost her husband and jeopardized her academic career, Zenia is 'a lurking enemy  commando.' To Roz, who did lose her husband and almost her magazine, Zenia is 'a cold and treacherous bitch.' To Charis, who lost a boyfriend, quarts of vegetable juice and some pet chickens, Zenia is a kind of zombie, maybe 'soulless'" (Lorrie Moore, New York Times Book  Review). In love and war, illusion and deceit, Zenia's subterranean malevolence takes us deep into her enemies' pasts.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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 June 8, 2011 by Anchor. 529 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Antonia (Tony), Karen (Charis), and Roz are three 50-ish Toronto friends, pals since college, all of whom have had to negotiate (and none too well) the treacheries of another friend, Zenia--someone who in the past has stolen a significant man from each of the others.

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Publishers Weekly

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The author of Cat's Eye depicts a femme fatale's malevolent role in the lives of three women;

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Entertainment Weekly

The Robber Bride Margaret Atwood (Bantam, $6.50, first published in 1993) Unlike movies, novels almostnever feature women who are bad to the bone.

Mar 24 1995 | Read Full Review of The Robber Bride

Entertainment Weekly

The anti-Zenia league, in fact, resembles Bram Stoker's vampire hunters, and Zenia herself, like the original Dracula, appears in only a fraction of the novel's scenes—though her malevolent spirit poisons them all.

Nov 12 1993 | Read Full Review of The Robber Bride

The Independent

If the title hadn't already been used, you could call it Women Beware Women.

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Suite 101

MicMac tribal stories reflect how eastern Canadian landscapes were formed as well as realistically depict human psychology during extremely stressful times.

Jun 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Robber Bride

The Bookbag

Zenia the liar, the cheat and the thief, the blackmailer and the man eater, Zenia the psychopath (though this word is not mentioned even once in the novel), Zenia the manipulator extraordinaire, Zenia who in the war of the sexes supports one side only: Zenia's.

Nov 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Robber Bride


"In the war of the sexes," writes Atwood, "Zenia was a double agent.

Nov 22 1993 | Read Full Review of The Robber Bride


The Kill by Jane Casey .

Mar 01 2015 | Read Full Review of The Robber Bride


Instead, Zenia is all about a commanding presence and a confident stare -- a true predator who knows how to manipulate and lie with stunning precision.

Mar 01 2007 | Read Full Review of The Robber Bride

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