Margaret Atwood is a celebrated Canadian novelist known worldwide for her incredible novels of fiction. Her well-known books cover a wide range of topics and genres including speculative fiction, dystopian fiction, historical fiction and romance. But she is also a writer of short fiction and non-fiction and this is what we find in her book The Tent.
This book is a collection of short pieces previously published in magazines and anthologies. They are fictional pieces inspired by real life characters, including orphans, aging homemakers, and warlords, and other daily occurrences that have given her pause for reflection. Each piece is very short, I wouldn't call them stories with most being just a couple of pages. It very much has the feel of taking a peek into Atwood's writing journal, her drawings adding a unique and personal touch.
Atwood draws heavily on the ironies of life and writes with biting sarcasm and wit. What I enjoyed most about this book is that the short pieces allow you to read on the run, but because of her writing you still feel like you got a lot out of the small amount. A one or two page piece can give you a lot to think about, a few good laughs, and a strong feeling of satisfaction when you put the book down. The only thing that ties these pieces together is that they are reflections on the world but they don't need anything else to make them a cohesive collection, Atwoods writing does that on its own.
My favourite piece of the book is Chicken Little Goes Too Far in which the well-known character becomes dismayed that no one will do anything about the falling sky and so he forms a group dedicated to solving the problem. There are a lot more wonderful pieces like this one that will take you inside the great mind of Margaret Atwood and allow you to see the world the way she sees it.
Advent with Atwood is a month long even hosted by Yvann at Reading With Tea, celebrating the works of Margaret Atwood.