7.3.12

Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination

Joyce Carol Oates reviews Atwood's new collection of essays and reviews
Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination
Joyce Carol Oates reviews Margaret Atwood's new book, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, in the New York Review of Books:
Margaret Atwood’s eclectic and engaging miscellany of essays, reviews, introductions, and “tributes” is a literary memoir tracing the myriad links between science fiction and literature, and relating both to those archetypal forms and structures so famously anatomized by her University of Toronto professor Northrop Frye in The Anatomy of Criticism (1957). It is simultaneously a self-portrait of the artist as an inquisitive, questing, impressionable, and avid reader since childhood of a dazzling variety of popular and esoteric entertainments—from comic strips and comic books to classics of the genre by Jonathan Swift, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell. Atwood’s intention is to break down the artificial distinctions between science fiction and “serious” literature by close readings of works by these writers as well as H. Rider Haggard’s She (1887), enormously popular in its time, Bryher’s Visa for Avalon (1965), Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), and Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and The Birthday of the World and Other Stories (2002). [Read More]
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