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The Edible Women
Margaret Atwood
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The Edible Women

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  18,832 ratings  ·  954 reviews
Ever since her engagement, the strangest thing has been happening to Marian McAlpin: she can't eat. First meat. Then eggs, vegetables, cake, pumpkin seeds--everything! Worse yet, she has the crazy feeling that she's being eaten. Marian ought to feel consumed with passion, but she really just feels...consumed.
Published August 1st 1984 by Seal Books (first published 1969)
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Barry Pierce
Well this is a novel that is fecund with originality. I really enjoyed this. Basically imagine if The Bell Jar was actually good and readable, then you'd have this. I really admire Atwood's decision to switch between third- and first-person narration. It's very clever and works marvellously. In fact this whole novel is very clever and marvellous. What a wonderful way to begin my #YearofAtwood.
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before Ohhh this book is like my favorite hoodie—threadbare and falling apart but so so soft and comfy, with all those little stains and patches as sweet reminders of long ago. Love love love love this book...

after Well yes, I do love this book as much as ever, but I was actually kind of surprised at how different it was from the last time I read it, oh, five or six years ago. Here are some reflections (in list form, because I'm feeling lazy):

1. I am still terribly and utterly in love with Dunca
What an unusual story. Marian is newly engaged and then discovers she can't eat certain foods, first meats and then almost everything else. What is her subconscious trying to tell her?

Atwood is a writer who amazes me every time I read her; it really is hard to categorize her writing. Her writing style on the other hand is exquisite, intelligent and witty at times.

The main theme of this book is relationships and how they can transform you. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot more than I d
4.5 stars - Spoilers

Loved this, it was weird and wonderful. I thought I was going to hate it after reading the first few chapters, it was so slow moving and boring. It was only until the main character (Marian) started to think strange thoughts and act totally nutty that I started to get really engrossed in the story and characters.

-I didn't like Marian whatsoever, she was passive, irritating and all round doormat. But despite being a largely pathetic and frustrating character, she was utterly e
Well, I liked this novella more than The Handmaid Tale, and that was quite a book!
The story is about Marian, an ordinary young woman who works for the advertising section of an enterprise, and leads an equally ordinary life, until two things, apparently disconnected, happen: her boyfriend, Peter, asks her to marry him and she discovers she is no longer able to eat - first meat, than even vegetables.
The book was interpreted as a metaphor of consumerism which governs our society, but it's more t
Mrs. Miska
Some books are easily and quickly devoured, as by a greedy child, and enjoyed all the more for the speed of consumption. Others, however, may be eaten with similar speed, but only to arrive more hastily at the end of the meal. The Edible Woman was one of the latter for me. I started on it during our trip up north over the holiday weekend, and gulped down the last half of it in the car Sunday. By the end, I just wanted to see how it finished to end the tediousness. It was like gnawing on a tough ...more
This is Atwood's first book, published in 1969. It's full of feminist ideas but it's so dated it was hard to get my head around it. A woman who is so normal that everyone thinks she's the most normal person they know, is about to get married. She feels that she's losing her identity and finds that she can't eat certain types of food. Meanwhile her roommate tricks a guy into getting her pregnant because she wants a baby but not a husband. I notice there are several study guides to this book, but ...more
The story in The Edible Woman takes place in the 1960s. With that in mind, I attempted to ease my modern depictions, expectations, and conclusion about the 1960s. I found the book to be a slow read and, like many others, I enjoyed the metaphors that were heavily sprinkled throughout the story that paralleled the lives of Marian and Ainsley.

I comprehend the feminist aspect of the story. For me, though, this book was more about the human aspects of life that collided with the lives of these women
I discovered Margaret Atwood in high school when I first read The Handmaid's Tale, but I didn't read any of her other books until college, when I realised she's actually an amazing feminist writer with an incredibly versatile imagination. The Edible Woman was her first novel -- I think it was written in the late 60s or early 70s -- and was the first book of hers that I really fell in love with.

Marian graduated from college and drifted into a job, a boyfriend, and a holding pattern, then got eng
La presión que reciben las mujeres para adaptarse a los usos de los hombre y sus formas.
Oh dear, I couldn't decide whether I liked this book from one page to the next. I expected to like it but kept deciding I didn't and a page or two later decided that maybe it was ok after all. Several things put me off it but mainly the characters. Ugh!, the characters were dull grey people with nothing likable about them. They seemed to be superficial, one dimensional people, who's only concern was how they looked to others. Even with those who were meant to be their best friends they weren't r ...more
I read this book to fill in a square on my "book bingo sheet" that I'm doing with some friends, it filled in
"the first book by a favorite author."

And boy, was it ever a *first* book. It was stunningly original, as per the usual with Atwood, but it lacked her normal beautiful phrasing and structure. The characters were not as poignant as she usually writes them, but I feel like I could see the beginnings of Crake in Duncan, the lost soul of the unnamed Handmaiden in Marian, etc.

The symbolism o
This is my second reading of this book and it holds up quite well. I'm a longtime fan of Atwood's writing and in this first novel, The Edible Woman, both the voice and themes of later Atwood are in evidence.

Marian, a college graduate, new to the working world and at the threshold of of being an adult woman in mid-60's Canadian society - that is, finding a suitable man for marriage and babies - is living with her roommate Ainsley, whose attitudes and actions go against the current Marian feels he
Marian is an average college-educated woman who lives with a roommate in a cheap apartment complete with a pushy landlady. She works for a survey company, is moderately good looking, and has a handsome boyfriend who is on his way to being a big shot lawyer. It sounds like life altogether is not too bad for Marian. Yet for some reason she feels empty, why?

The Edible Woman explores the themes of losing a sense of self with maturity. At work she is pushed around, her roommate Ainsley is inconsidera

“WEIRD” would be the right word to describe this book, I guess!In fact, I neither could hate this book nor I could love it because of its unusual storyline and characters. It’s strange, though Marian McAlpin the protagonist seems eccentric and some of her acts/thoughts were quite insane and out-of-the-way yet she was also relatable at time!!
Basically, the story revolves around a woman who is insecure, has lack of clarity and is unable to analyze the importance of freedom in her life. And Mar
Elena Tomorowitz
I don't think I could have read "The Edible Woman" at a better time than now, when topics of feminism are becoming more and more present. I originally picked up this book because of its title and because I wanted to check out some Atwood--admittedly, this is my first time reading her. The title alone has so many implications--that women are consumable, visceral, sinewy, sexual, and all of the above. The main character is so honest and real that I often forgot throughout the book that she was bei ...more
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This probably isn't the attitude that I was supposed to have, but I found this incredibly, surreally funny. It's amazingly confident for a first novel, and that really helped to up my enjoyment level of the book, even though it's not the most accomplished of her novels. The metaphors which Atwood uses are very, very layered and dense, and don't always work exactly - it's starts to waver and fall apart towards the end of the novel - but for the most part, they're very satisfying to pick your way ...more
I was first drawn to this book because of the name. It was my introduction to Margaret Atwood, and I found it a very good one.

Marian's life is quite simple, she works at a survey company, with a bunch of other women. She lives with Ainsley, her not-very-orthodox roommate, and has a practically perfect boyfriend, Peter, who's the accurate example of what a man *should* be.

After another of Peter's friends gets married, he decides that it's time to settle and stop being childish and he proposes to
This book threw me for a loop. I spent most of it searching for meaning. Okay, obviously it's about a woman's body physically rejecting the societal conventions that she's conforming to; obviously it's rich with small, poignant observations and many literary devices. But what does it add up to?

I couldn't figure it out, because everyone in this book is miserable. Those who reject marriage and family are miserable, those who try to attain it are miserable, those who accept it reluctantly are mise
I was having dinner a few days ago with a young French artist who is in my town as an artist-in-residence. When not traveling around Europe creating art installations, she lives in Berlin. At some point in the conversation the topic of feminism came up and she said she really wasn't sure what feminism is all about. I was somewhat taken aback, having grown up during the heyday of the Women's Movement of the 60's and 70's. As I thought about it more, I wondered if it's okay that feminism might not ...more
I'm glad I read this, if only because I'm a huge fan of Margaret Atwood and hope to read all of her works in the near future. This wasn't my favorite of her novels, but I enjoyed it a great deal. The relationship between food and femininity is a fascinating and often frustrating one, and this book is a funny and painful example of just how entwined they can be.

I can only imagine how tremendous the impact of this book must've been when it was first released. Some aspects of the story may be a li
Marcy Wells
Loved this book. And at first I couldn't tell was very descriptive, not much exciting...but I loved it. Perfect depiction of women finding their way in their early twenties. I also enjoyed reading about the time I can remember my grandmother describing so vividly. Atwood does a wonderful job (as always) making you experience the identity crisis so many women experience in so many different ways as they decide who they're going to be, not only through her main character, but also throug ...more
If I start a new author and I suspect I'm really going to like them, like REALLY planning to dig all the way into their bibliography, I tend to go out of my way to begin with the debut, rather than, say, with their "best" work. It's not a hard and fast rule, but it's interesting to me to see where an author, particularly an author that has grown in power and conceptual reach over decades, started their journey. The first thing that they not only finished, but also sent off, got accepted, and sen ...more

Μια φαγώσιμη κοινωνία

Είχα πρωτοδιαβάσει από τη Μάργκαρετ Άτγουντ το βιβλίο Πηνελοπιάδα (εκδόσεις Ωκεανίδα, 2005) σχετικά πρόσφατα, χωρίς να με ενθουσιάσει ιδιαίτερα. Ωστόσο, γνώριζα το μεγάλο έργο της συγγραφέως και σίγουρα θα τις έδινα και άλλη ευκαιρία -και όπως και έκανα με το βιβλίο Η φαγώσιμη γυναίκα-, καθώς η Πηνελοπιάδα δεν είναι αντιπροσωπευτικό του έργου της.

Κι ενώ είχα στη βιβλιοθήκη μου το «Όρυξ και Κρέικ» (Εκδόσεις Ψυχογιός, 2014) στην παλιότερ
Fun read. Poor Marian, although, I did get to a point where I just wished she'd go to a bit of therapy. Probably because of how close to home her behavior and situation were. Too much exposition. The cake really was terrifying in the most perfect way, as was Duncan and all the non-friends. Clara and Joe were my favorite, followed closely by Leonard receding into the recesses of their house, playing with Arthur's toys, and fighting over them with him. It was a treat to see so many stereotypes I'v ...more
Marian works at a surveying company. She refines consumer questionnaires to improve products and their marketing. Her job isn't exactly fulfilling, but as she and her roommate Ainsley say, what else can you do with an arts degree? Marian is in a relationship with Peter, a man clinging on to his unmarried status with a desperate fervor as his close friends all tie the knot. Peter is a handsome, well dressed lawyer on his way to success.
Ainsley is an interesting character. From her studies of ant
Valerie Valentine
At first I could not get into it! It seemed so second-wave, Betty Friedanesque - dated, antiquated, then I paused. Atwood is still living, she's alive. I ran to her twitter feed. Issues of women a theme for her, a must... the quest to tell this story is not for nothing I am finding. the theme and setting seemed out of date - women immediately quit jobs automatically when they married, assumed she'd become a dependent on her husband. This character was quite dull and proper, living in a stifling ...more
Such a first novel.

On some counts I really enjoyed this, and on others I really didn't. The writing was not amazing, and contained a mix of standard fare and awkward flourishes. And after reading a bunch of Atwood's later stuff recently, this seemed quite immature, quality-of-writing-wise. Like listening to Pablo Honey after Kid A.

But I can't blame Atwood for improving.

It seemed impossibly modern to be 196something. I think Atwood was striving her character to live in a clean, modern world, and
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Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr
More about Margaret Atwood...
The Handmaid's Tale Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1) The Blind Assassin The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2) Alias Grace

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“What else can I do? Once you've gone this far you aren't fit for anything else. Something happens to your mind. You're overqualified, overspecialized, and everybody knows it. Nobody in any other game would be crazy enough to hire me. I wouldn't even make a good ditch-digger, I'd start tearing apart the sewer-system, trying to pick-axe and unearth all those chthonic symbols - pipes, valves, cloacal conduits... No, no. I'll have to be a slave in the paper-mines for all time.” 17 likes
“I always thought eating was a ridiculous activity anyway. I'd get out of it myself if I could, though you've got to do it to stay alive, they tell me.” 17 likes
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