9780771098994 / 0771098995

Surfacing (The New Canadian Library)


Publisher:Mcclelland & Stewart Ltd



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About the book:

First published in 1972, Surfacing was Margaret Atwood's second novel, following the critically acclaimed The Edible Woman. Atwood had already made her mark as a one of the most exciting new voices in Canadian poetry, winning the Governor General's Award in 1966 for The Circle Game, while her groundbreaking book of criticism, Survival, had started the process of redefining the meaning of Canadian literature.

In Surfacing, poetry and prose brilliantly come together in a heart-wrenching novel that focuses on a woman's desperate attempt to put the ghosts of her past to rest. With three friends, she's returned to the remote cabin in Northern Quebec where she spent her childhood. She's overwhelmed, almost to the point of emotional paralysis, by memories of her father and his death by drowning, her failed marriage and painful divorce, and an abortion that haunts her waking dreams. While she appears to be ambivalent about the landscape, it is the landscape that in fact will provide her with the means of healing herself and her broken spirit. Like Atwood's poetry of this period, Surfacing is a deeply psychological novel. Atwood uses the recurring image of surfacing from beneath the waves of an icy northern lake as a symbol of this woman's struggle to regain control of her life, to refuse to be a victim of her past. Surfacing is a poignant novel filled with the power of the Canadian wilderness to cleanse the soul, an image of the wilderness that has remained a preoccupation for Atwood throughout her writing career. --Jeffrey Canton

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