Margaret Atwood, The Edible Woman

Ellen McWilliams (University of Exeter)
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Margaret Atwood's first published novel

The Edible Woman

(1969) can be read as an early expression of the author's interest in writing women's lives. The protagonist of the novel, Marian MacAlpin, a recent university graduate, works for a market research company and is soon to be engaged to her boyfriend. Once the engagement is announced, Marian begins to lose her appetite and develops a growing aversion to food that leaves her frustrated and hungry. The fact that Marian loses her appetite for food, and it might be added life as the future Mrs Peter Wollander, invites a fruitful feminist reading of the novel. However, whilst the novel can be read as a feminist text, Atwood's introduction to the 1979 Virago edition complicates any straightforward feminist interpretation:

The Edible

1261 words

Citation: McWilliams, Ellen. "The Edible Woman". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 October 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=990, accessed 12 June 2024.]

990 The Edible Woman 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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