stone mattress-margaret atwood

“Some have females attached to them, and she eliminates these on principle: why work harder than you need to? Prying a spouse loose can be arduous, as she discovered via her first husband: discarded wives stick like burrs.” (202, The Dead Hand Loves You)

“Not that such behaviour ever has any effect on the one who’s spurned you, as Tin knows from his own experience: if it’s gone as far as that, they don’t care how much you debase yourself to get back at them. You could fuck a headless goat and it would make no earthly difference.” (90, Dark Lady)

i became aware of this book because it was nominated for the toronto book awards, and falsely assumed that it was her latest book. wrong. it’s already her second oldest because all of a sudden, she’s producing like palahniuk?

to be honest, i kind of thought that madge had forever gone over to the sci-fi side, and haven’t paid her much mind over the last few years, and i don’t think i’ve read a short story collection since the one where she re-worked the fairy tales and involved nuns with vibrators.

i was pleasantly surprised with these stories of murder and attempted murder and bitter writers and their miserable lovers. i have always admired ms atwood for always going balls to the wall, and she did not pull any punches here.

“It’s a lifelong failing: she has never been prepared. But how can you have a sense of wonder if you’re prepared for everything?” (9, Alphinland)

“She started writing the Alphinland stories to make enough money to support Gavin, who viewed that kind of support as part of a trulove’s function.” (21, ibid)

“Girls did that then-knocked themselves out to support some man’s notion of his own genius. What was Gavin doing to help pay the rent? Not much, though she suspected him of dealing pot on the side. Once in a while they even smoked some of that, though not often, because it made Constance cough. It was all very romantic.” (21, ibid)

“..Gavin was nothing if not cheap, a feature of the poets then.” (25, ibid)

“His regret is that he isn’t a lecherous old man, but he wishes he were. He wishes he still could be. How to describe the deliciousness of ice cream when you can no longer taste it?” (46, Revenant)

“The twins often revet to a previous point in their ongoing conversation, though they know better than to do that if anyone else is around. It’s annoying; not to them, they can pick up each other’s dropped stitches, but it can make other people feel excluded. Or else-nowadays-it can make other people feel they are missing a cog or two.” (78, Dark Lady)

“The traffic is putrid. What is it about winter that causes people to drive as if their hands are feet?” (130, The Freeze-Dried Groom)

“Guy’s an asshole, in training for a prison guard or a politician or some other self-proclaimed dictator job. A non-asshole might offer Same a doughnut hole-surely the guy isn’t going to eat the whole bag, he could benefit from some weight loss-but that philanthropic act does not take place.” (131, ibid)

“Jack had stolen that from Nosferatu: the love of a pure woman had an uncanny power over the things of darkness. Maybe 1964 was the last moment when you could get away with that: try such a thing now and people would only laugh.” (199, The Dead Hand Loves You)



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