Margaret Atwood: Alias Grace (1055 words)

Faye Hammill (University of Glasgow)
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Margaret Atwood’s ninth novel, Alias Grace, is set in Upper Canada in the mid-nineteenth century. It explores a sensational murder case which Atwood first read about in Susanna Moodie’s Life in the Clearings (1853). Alias Grace was highly acclaimed upon publication, achieved wide international sales, and was short-listed for the 1996 Booker Prize. It is already beginning to attract substantial attention from academic critics.

The factual basis of the story is that Grace Marks, a young servant working near Kingston in what is now Ontario, was convicted in 1843 of murdering her employer, Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper-mistress, Nancy Montgomery. While Grace’s accomplice, her fellow servant James Mc…

Hammill, Faye. "Alias Grace". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 June 2003
[, accessed 24 March 2018.]

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