A Sense of the Ending

The Year of the Flood: A Novel, by Margaret Atwood; Bloomsbury, 2009, 448 pages, $45. Margaret Atwood isn’t a snob and would no doubt avoid making too fine a distinction between high culture and popular culture. She’s particularly careful about admitting to a literary vocation, although her work is immensely literary, as idea and as art. She acknowledges the pitfalls of the romantic image of the artist as inspired and is wary of the “drastic mythologies” of the author as self-dedicated “priestess of the imagination” devoted to creating a “perfect work”. But even she admits: “In truth, if you do…

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