The Blind Assassin Background

The Blind Assassin Background

The Blind Assassin is a novel published on September 3, 2000, by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Atwood was born in Ottawa and was raised there.

The setting of the story is in Canada, where the story centers on three main characters: Iris, Laura, and Alex. Iris is Laura's sister, and Alex is a man who enters their life and makes relationships with both of them. The novel is a 'novel-within-a-novel', where, in one of them Iris is the narrator, while in the other Laura is the narrator. Iris suddenly hears about her sister's death and tries to discover what was its cause. After looking through Laura's diaries and recalling her memories, Iris knows that Alex had a relationship with Laura where he used to rape her consistently. Oddly, when Laura hears about Alex's death in the war, she commits suicide.

Atwood uniquely creates a novel inside a novel; she describes the memories in vivid images that keep the readers intrigued. Her novel has won many awards, including the Booker Prize in 2000 and the Hammett Prize in the following year. It was also nominated for many other prizes.

The novel received several positive reviews as well as some criticisms. For one, Salon said about it: "cunning tale ... sketched with Atwood’s trademark dark humor and deft hand." The Christian Science monitor was impressed and reviewed it: "brilliantly ... works to flesh out the dime-novel culture of the 1930s and to emphasize the precarious position of women." Also, it received a 4 out of a 5-star rating on Goodreads. However, critics from the New York Times and The Guardian did not seem to enjoy the book.

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