“Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it’s all a male fantasy: that you’re strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you’re unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
What’s interesting for me is that I remember The Robber Bride as the only Margaret Atwood book I’ve read which made me laugh out loud throughout the novel, but when going over it again today I forgot how heavy some of the writing is from the story.
While a new generation of readers has been introduced to Ms. Atwood – or “Canada’s unrivaled Queen of Letters,” as Eleanor Wachtel once called her – through the recent made-for-TV remake of The Handmaid’s Tale, those of us a bit older know that she has a canon of literature long enough, broad enough, and circumspect enough to shelve an entire library.
I may not have read all of her books, but I highly recomend The Robber Bride, a story that was insired by a Brothers Grimm tale, “[b]ut in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony, Charis, and Roz.”