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…

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Boykin, Jessica, Shannon R. Wooden. "Surfacing". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 April 2013
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]