We gave it an A
In her ingenious new tale of love, rivalry, and deception, The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood interweaves several genres — a confessional memoir, a pulp fantasy novel, newspaper clippings — to tease out the secrets behind the 1945 death of 25 year old socialite Laura Chase. Events open with the present day autobiography of Laura’s older sister, Iris: The sharp witted widow recalls growing up in a repressive family of wealthy Toronto industrialists — and how dreamy Laura developed a forbidden interest in a scruffily attractive union leader.
Entwined with this saga are marvelous excerpts of Laura’s posthumously published novel — an erotic cult classic called ”The Blind Assassin,” detailing the illicit affair between an unnamed strike organizer and an heiress, during which the man relates a clever, bedtime sci-fi yarn about a blind assassin who falls for a mute sacrificial virgin. Atwood performs a spectacular literary sleight of hand, fashioning a bewitching, brilliantly layered story of how people see only what they wish to — and how terrible the consequences of not voicing the truth can be.