Books·Canadian

Life Before Man

Margaret Atwood's 1979 novel was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award.

Margaret Atwood

Life Before Man vividly portrays three people in thrall to the tragicomedy some call love. Imprisoned by walls of their own construction, they are forced to make drastic choices — after the rules have changed and the boundaries have become faded. There is Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality, who seeks solutions in the wrong men; Nate, wry and gentle husband of Elizabeth, racked by an inability to decide; and Lesje, quiet and inexperienced, who prefers dinosaurs to most men. Hanging over all of them is the ghost of Elizabeth's dead lover… and the threat of three lives careering inevitably toward potential catastrophe. (From Emblem Editions)

From the book

I wish I didn't have to think about you. You wanted to impress me; well, I'm not impressed, I'm disgusted... You wanted to make damn good and sure I'd never be able to turn over in bed again without feeling that body beside me, not there but tangible, like a leg that's been cut off. Gone but the place still hurts.


From Life Before Man by Margaret Atwood ©1979. Published by McClelland & Stewart.

Interviews with Margaret Atwood

Atwood on the importance of modern female writers. 2:25

Other books by Margaret Atwood

 

 

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