Margaret Atwood: Surfacing (2235 words)

  • Jessica Boykin (Missouri State University)
  • Shannon R. Wooden (Missouri State University)

Margaret Atwood’s second novel, Surfacing, published in 1972, tells the story of a young woman in search of her estranged, father, now missing in the Canadian wilderness. The novel begins as the unnamed narrator travels with her boyfriend, Joe, and a married couple, David and Anna, to the Bush, the undeveloped land of northeast Canada. The group of friends ostensibly combines her search with something of a vacation, boating across the lake to the remote island where the narrator grew up, searching for signs of her missing father. Though they plan to stay only a few days, the seclusion of the island lures them into staying a week longer. Over the duration of the novel, this same seclusion exposes the friends’ true characters, b…

Boykin, Jessica, Shannon R. Wooden. "Surfacing". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 April 2013
[, accessed 28 October 2016.]