Writing with Intent by Margaret Atwood
Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose--1983-2005

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From one of the world’s most passionately engaged literary citizens comes Writing with Intent, the largest collection to date of Margaret Atwood’s nonfiction, ranging from 1983 to 2005. Composed of autobiographical essays, cultural commentary, book reviews, and introductory pieces written for great works of literature, this is the award-winning author's first book-length nonfiction publication in twenty years. Arranged chronologically, these writings display the development of Atwood’s worldview as the world around her changes.

Included are the Booker Prize–winning author’s reviews of books by John Updike, Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, and others, as well as essays in which she remembers herself reading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse at age nineteen, and discusses the influence of George Orwell’s 1984 on the writing of The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood’s New York Times Book Review piece that helped make Orhan Pamuk’s Snow a bestseller can be found here, as well as a look back on a family trip to Afghanistan just before the Soviet invasion, and her “Letter to America,” written after September 11, 2001. The insightful and memorable pieces in this book serve as a testament to Atwood’s career, reminding readers why she is one of the most esteemed writers of our time.

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 10, 2005 by Carroll & Graf. 464 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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(She made a “literary pilgrimage” to Beechy Island to revisit the expedition’s remains.) The reviews are less interesting, since Atwood writes only about books that she likes and admits to being a “stroker” (who rewards good performance) rather than a “spanker” (who punishes bad performance).

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Publishers Weekly

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As responses to specific moments in literary, personal or social history, many of these works don't necessarily deserve to be preserved in perpetuity, but they all skillfully characterize their writer as a woman ravenously curious about the world, witty enough to know her own place in it, fiercel...

Feb 28 2005 | Read Full Review of Writing with Intent: Essays, ...

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