Tag Archives: margaret atwood

Tales on Tweet: Edited and Curated by Manoj Pandey

Tales on Tweet - Edited and Curated by Manoj Pandey Title: Tales on Tweet
Edited and Curated by Manoj Pandey
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Genre: Short Stories, Tweets, Flash Fiction,
Pages: 116
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars

Flash fiction on social media is not a thing of the past. It still exists. It has been existing since social media sites began and everyone suddenly had a story to tell. I also started something known as ’55 word story’ way back in 2012 in Twitter, which seemingly got a great response. Having said that, Manoj Pandey starting tweeting stories in 140 characters in 2011 and randomly started tagging authors whom he liked, the likes of Atwood, Rushdie, Teju Cole and more. To his surprise they started responding with their stories in 140 characters and the rest is history.

This book is edited and curated by Manoj Pandey – the best of the stories which he has received from people, celebrities and just someone who has a story to tell. The stories are often bizarre, some complete, some not, and some just left for interpretation by you.

My favourite tales are written by Prajwal Parajuly, Rushdie, Sandhya Menon, Carrie Dcker, Safwan Amir, Neha Malude, Ian Murphy, and Sarah C.S. Ashworth. What makes them even more worth it are the beautiful illustrations by Yuko Shimizu. Loved each and every illustration by her. One star to the rating only because of them.

These micro tales form worlds of their own – of loneliness, passion, deep-seated anger and of changes that come about in bursts and spurts – sometimes with unnerving consequences. “Tales on Tweet” is quite a breakthrough in presenting stories and I hope more people do that. A must read if you’re on Twitter or not.

387 Short Stories: Day 3: Story 3: Bad News by Margaret Atwood

Good Bones by Margaret Atwood

Title: Bad News
Author: Margaret Atwood
Taken from the collection: Good Bones

Today I read an unusual short story. It is by one of my favourite authors and short so to say, however for some reason I failed to make sense of it, or perhaps I made quite a lot of sense of it. The story is “Bad News” by Margaret Atwood. Before I get to the story, I must say that I have always been a huge fan of Atwood’s works. I think it started from the time I read The Handmaid’s Tale and was spellbound by both the feminist and dystopian vision of a futuristic writer. Her short stories are also but of course centered on women who are grappling with issues, mostly unknown to them as well.

“Bad News” is a short story – a very short story and mostly the reader does not know the perspective or the background of the narration. It is but obviously narrated or told by a woman, and yet there are times, when you are free to make what you want to of it. “Bad News” is about an event about to happen – the anticipation, the unfolding of it all and has the Medusa like quality to it, which I loved. I must admit, though the story was short, I went back to it, reread and then found so much joy in it. Today’s short story has been truly fulfilling. Just like the other two before this one

Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood

I remember when I first read an Atwood. It started with “The Handmaid’s Tale” back when I was in college and I was floored. I was going through a phase of angst and Ms. Atwood somehow added to it in a big way. At that tiime, only two writers mattered the most to be – Ayn Rand and Margaret Atwood. May be George Orwell as well – however that came second close to Atwood. “The Blind Assassin” further affirmed my belief in the writer and her powers. She writes with a vengeance and how – not that she chooses to (I assume), however words flow freely for this writer and only end up captivating her readers to the very core.

Moral Disorder is a collection of 11 stories by Ms. Atwood. Each one stands alone and towards the end the reader is left gaping – as the stories converge and stand alone as a novel – the character of a woman, which is a first-rate character study.

All stories deal with the life of one woman – Nell, who is a stereotypical everyday “Canadian” woman. The only thing that sets her apart are the choices she makes and how they govern her life or change the direction of her life. These are everyday choices with a moral compass twist – about the mysterious unpredictability of life and how one gets thrown into situations. At one point Nell assess the situation and asks herself, “What if I missed a turn somewhere —- missed my own future?” and it is  lines like these that compel me to read every book written by Margaret Atwood.

The stories are set for us and read like memories of a person. Some told in first one, and some written as third-person narratives. Spanning six decades the stories take your breath away. Moral Disorders is like a series of disjointed photographs – seen to the reader in no chronological order.

Atwood admits that many of events in these stores have strong autobiographical roots. This becomes achingly apparent in the last two stories where Atwood delivers a heart-wrenching first-person narrative about–what is purposefully in this story–an unnamed mature protagonist serving as loving caretaker of rapidly declining elderly parents. These parents could easily fit in with what we know about Nell, and what we know about Atwood. These pieces show Atwood at the height of her talent. These are pieces woven of pure magic and unconditionally every-lasting love.

In this work Atwood gives us nothing short of real life–random, disordered, unpredictable–but life embraced lovingly with open arms despite all these uncertainties and the ultimate terror of that last unknown.

Authors I Love: #1 Margaret Atwood

From the time I started reading, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, I fell in love with Atwood. Her writing is so lucid and so political that one could never imagine that a writer could mix political and feminist issues with such ease – may be because they are intertwined at any given point. Margaret Atwood to a very large extent is also a funny writer – she does not bore the reader at any given point of time – be it “Cat’s Eye” or “The Robber Bride” – where she based her malicious women on fairy tale characters. And who can forget her shorter works – “The Penelopiad” (which I have reviewed) depicting the plight of Penelope to “The Tent” – a fantastic short collection of vignettes, to “The Blind Assassin” which is my personal favourite that reveals the dark side of living.

There are two reasons why I love reading Atwood: First, the way she brings her characters to life and second, she says everything she has to using words that fit the emotion. I have not read any of her non-fiction and poetry,  though I will someday and looking forward to reading, “The Year of the Flood”.



The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

There are ways in which a writer can borrow a story and yet it will not be his/her’s and there are ways in which a writer borrows a story and it completely becomes her’s and there is no looking back then. This is what Ms. Atwood does with “The Penelopiad”. The story is known to all – that of Odysseus and Penelope and how she had to wait for the longest time for his return from the Trojan War.

While I found Homer’s tale to be nerve-wrenchingly boring (apologies though that is just not what I intend to ever go back to), Atwood’s tale is definitely from Penelope’s perspective. More so from the 12 maids’ minds and eyes who Odysseus and his son hang mercilessly when he returns. Penelope and her maids are dead and they are telling the tale from the underworld.

What I loved about this short piece of reconstructed Myth is the way it is written. It reads almost like a poem in bits and pieces (of the 12 maids’ lives and what they had to endure) and it does not bore you for a minute. It took me barely a day to finish it and I went back to it purely because in my mind I also compared it to a portion of “The Ramayana” where Ram doubts Sita’s purity while she was kidnapped by Ravan and was a prisoner at his palace.

My favourite part hands down in the book has to be the one where both Odysseus and Penelope meet after years and are aware that both have not been faithful to the other and yet pretend as though nothing changed. As though love survived it all. There are a lot of portions which I have loved while reading this book. However, one of them has also been the way Margaret Atwood set it out to be a farce and that’s exactly what it has become. A brilliant farce on one of the greatest myths ever! Please read it! Do yourself a favour.