Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.
Thus begins The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel. Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent Industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While coping with her unreliable body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following- as Iris says, she herself lives 'in the long shadow cast by Laura'.
Sexually explicit for its time, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a man on the run. During their secret meetings in rented rooms, the lovers concoct a pulp fantasy set on the Planet Zycron. As the invented story twists through love and sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real one, as events in both move closer to war and catastrophe. By turns lyrical, outrageous, formidable, compelling and funny, this is a novel filled with deep humour and dark drama. It is Margaret Atwood at her breathtaking best.
* Atwood's Booker prize-winning novel reissued with a striking new jacket along with other titles from Margaret Atwood's backlist
Winner of Booker Prize for Fiction 2000. Shortlisted for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2002 and Orange Prize for Fiction 2001 and International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2002.
'Atwood has never written with more flair and versatility than in this multidimensional novel. A brilliant accomplishment' SUNDAY TIMES
'This is Margaret Atwood at her remarkable best.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
'Margaret Atwood is one of the most brilliant and unpredictable novelists alive.' LITERARY REVIEW
'THE BLIND ASSASSIN may indeed prove to be that most elusive of literary unicorns: the woman's novel.' NEW STATESMAN
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and now Oryx and Crake for the 2003 Booker prize. She has won many literary prizes in other countries.