A breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knot of her life—from the bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments
Disturbing, humorous, and compassionate, Cat’s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman—but above all she must seek release form her haunting memories.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If The Handmaid’s Tale is a brilliant-but-bitter pill to swallow, Cat’s Eye is practically a tonic. Margaret Atwood’s entrancing novel about the exquisite absurdity of being female focuses on Elaine Risley, a fortysomething painter preparing for a dreaded midlife retrospective. Flashbacks tell the story of Elaine’s younger years, starting with her as an eight-year-old child being raised in social isolation by her bohemian parents. When the family moves to Toronto, Elaine gets her first exposure to the odd habits and devastating cruelty of other little girls. Like a preadolescent anthropologist, she’s astounded by each new discovery—sweater sets, penises, pageboys, chintz—in ways that are heartbreaking and often completely hilarious.
Atwood writes in an autobiographical vein about a middle-aged Canadian painter who is thrust into an extended reconsideration of her past, including one particularly strange friendship, while attending a retrospective of her work in Toronto. PW praised Atwood's incisiveness, saying that she ``takes the measure of a coercive, conformist society.''
I read this book over 30 years ago and it is one of my favorite books ever written
Living protecting forgetting and forgiving
An extremely precise writer bringing you right into every scene. A strong seam of underlying sadness and her journey of navigation
A Slice of Life Novel
A bit slow for me. A novel by a woman for women, although anything that helps me understand the other sex a little more is good.