The Edible Woman

The Edible Woman

Book - 1999
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Marian has a problem. A willing member of the consumer society in which she lives, she suddenly finds herself identifying with the things being consumed. She can cope with her tidy-minded fiancé, Peter, who likes shooting rabbits. She can cope with her job in market research, and the antics of her roommate. She can even cope with Duncan, a graduate student who seems to prefer laundromats to women. But not being able to eat is a different matter. Steak was the first to go. Then lamb, pork, and the rest. Next came her incapacity to face an egg. Vegetables were the final straw. But Marian has her reasons, and what happens next provides an unusual solution. Witty, subversive, hilarious, The Edible Woman is dazzling and utterly original. It is Margaret Atwood's brilliant first novel, and the book that introduced her as a consummate observer of the ironies and absurdities of modern life.

From the Paperback edition.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1999, c1969.
ISBN: 9780771008597
Characteristics: 330 p.


From Library Staff

debwalker Oct 27, 2011

Atwood wrote about eating disorders before anyone talked about eating disorders. Still think about the egg thing whenever I eat a boiled egg.

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Apr 08, 2018

I read The Handmaid's Tale and liked it, so - when I saw this novel on the shelf - I decided to borrow it. It has left me slightly dissatisfied, to be honest. But let's begin with what I liked: the humor and the style, definitely. Atwood writes with such elegance and subtlety, you don't immediately realize that what you have just read is actually very funny and something that we all have experienced. The characters grow on you and page after page you want to know what is Ainsley or Marion going to do next. However, that said, I should also notice that in some parts the story really slows down and you wonder what is exactly the point being made. The male characters seem to be all flawed, in some way or another, all of them self-absorbed and demanding. But women are not always much better, they seem mostly to be scheming to get a husband or a father for their future child. The end also left me perplexed. I will not share it, but it seemed to me to be a complete anticlimax, as if there were after all no great secret or revelation at all. Marion, the protagonist, is first person narrator in the first and third part of the story, the central section is told by a third person, omniscient narrator. I am not sure I get the reason for this switch. I preferred to have Marion as narrator. However, overall this is a good book and it certainly makes one think about relationships and marriage, and how they can sometimes devour women. But please don't put too much trust in the cover's description of the story - that is partially inaccurate and probably led me to expect something that was not in the novel.

Dec 10, 2017

Reflections on relationships, identity and consumerism. I really enjoyed it.

Aug 24, 2012

I keep expecting there to be some element of fantasy throughout this book, but there never is. It's a strange take on relationships, marriage, engagement and how people change as their titles do. Pretty good.

debwalker Oct 27, 2011

Atwood wrote about eating disorders before anyone talked about eating disorders. Still think about the egg thing whenever I eat a boiled egg.

Oct 01, 2011

Atwood's first novel was not overly exciting and I did not feel compelled to finish the book, even halfway through.

Dec 16, 2009

Great book.

Feb 20, 2007

This is a true original.

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