Old Babes in the Wood: Stories (Hardcover)
"If you consider yourself an Atwood fan and have only read her novels: Get your act together. You’ve been missing out.” —The New York Times Book Review, Rebecca Makkai, best-selling author of The Great Believers
Margaret Atwood has established herself as one of the most visionary and canonical authors in the world. This collection of fifteen extraordinary stories—some of which have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine—explore the full warp and weft of experience, speaking to our unique times with Atwood’s characteristic insight, wit and intellect.
The two intrepid sisters of the title story grapple with loss and memory on a perfect summer evening; “Impatient Griselda” explores alienation and miscommunication with a fresh twist on a folkloric classic; and “My Evil Mother” touches on the fantastical, examining a mother-daughter relationship in which the mother purports to be a witch. At the heart of the collection are seven extraordinary stories that follow a married couple across the decades, the moments big and small that make up a long life of uncommon love—and what comes after.
Returning to short fiction for the first time since her 2014 collection Stone Mattress, Atwood showcases both her creativity and her humanity in these remarkable tales which by turns delight, illuminate, and quietly devastate.
Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
—Rebecca Makkai, New York Times Book Review
“Old Babes in the Wood is touching, smart, funny, and unique in equal measure…A dazzling mixture of stories that explore what it means to be human while also showcasing Atwood's gifted imagination and great sense of humor.”
“These fifteen stories are a master class in how to write, a rollicking good time, and a deep exploration of human relationships—the damage we do to each other and the ways we come together. Delving into Atwood’s work feels a bit like coming home—you can trust her to tell a good story and not make any gaffes along the way.”
"Atwood explores love and loss in this brilliant collection that mixes fantastical stories about the afterlife with realism...She’s writing at the top of her considerable powers here."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The celebrated author’s first collection of short fiction since Stone Mattress (2014)...Honest and artful depictions of aging and loss."