Cat's Eye Background

Cat's Eye Background

Although Canadian author Margaret Atwood is best-known for writing the book The Handmaid's Tale, she is the author of a number of very well-respected novels. Among them is Cat's Eye, which released after The Handmaid's Tale.

When writing Cat's Eye, Atwood drew heavily on her own life experiences. In the book, she tells the story of a Canadian woman named Elaine Risley who returns to Canada after being away after many years away for a retrospective on her art career. While there, she ruminates on her messy and sometimes disturbing past -- all the while finally accepting who she truly is.

Cat's Eye was met with rapturous reviews upon its release in 1988. It was a massive critical and financial success. Writes Kirkus Reviews: "All the better Atwood trademarks are here--wry humor, unforgiving detailed observation, a tart prose style--and likely to attract a wide audience." Claire Tomalin of The Observer also thoroughly enjoyed Cat's Eye, writing "It [Cat's Eye] remains the most striking of her novels – but I am not sorry she has chosen to return to her old, native landscape in which fear and horror are incorporated in everyday experience and the members of ordinary families assume the power of myth."

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