Cat's Eye

Cat's Eye

Paperback Virago Press

By (author) Margaret Atwood

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  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 33mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 1 November 1995
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1853811262
  • ISBN 13: 9781853811265
  • Sales rank: 8,034

Product description

Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood - unbearable betrayals and cruelties - surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for forty years. 'Not since Graham Greene has a novelist captured so forcefully the relationship between school bully and victim...Atwood's games are played, exquisitely, by little girls' LISTENER An exceptional novel from the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize

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Author information

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.

Review quote

Not since Graham Greene or William Golding has a novelist captured so forcefully the relationship between school bully and victim...Atwood's power games are played, exquisitely, by little girls LISTENER Irrestistible...This book is about life for all of us. She is one of our finest novelists. Read it THE TIMES Atwood's taut and exquisite use of language makes all her books irresistable... THE WEEK Margaret Atwood charts the psychological process of memory as compulsion and memory as a healing act through the character of Elaine Risley, an artist who returns to her home town of Toronto for a retrospective of her work. Elaine's visit triggers though - Chris Kellett, From 500 Great Books by Women, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW

Editorial reviews

Atwood's wide-screen, cautionary Handmaid's Tale (1986) confirmed the author's place in the major leagues, and here she follows up with a work of intensity and tart wit. Where Handmaid's Tale took a long, allegorical view, this latest shows Atwood working more familiar territory of nuance and character. Acclaimed artist Elaine Risley returns to Toronto from Vancouver to attend a retrospective of her work, and - as the show's opening approaches - Risley's memories of a bitter Toronto childhood blend with the exile's ironic asides about a new city up to its eyeballs in money and new clothes. Just why Risley hates Toronto so much becomes clear when we're introduced to her childhood friends. At the center of the group is Cordelia, a future bad-girl who leads the others in routine tormenting of Elaine. The subterranean world of childhood and the uncanny ability of children to inflict abuse on one another are superbly captured here, as is the sulky twilight zone of adolescence. As Elaine and Cordelia progress through school, the tables begin to turn, and in the end Cordelia - mentally unstable and confined to a "home" - finds herself at the mercy of Elaine. Along the way: finely drawn protraits of an emerging North American city in the 40's, 50's, and early 60's, with high marks going to Atwood's vivid depiction of the rituals of school, play, and friendship. All the better Atwood trademarks are here - wry humor, unforgiving detailed observation, a tart prose style - and likely to attract a wide audience. (Kirkus Reviews)