cover image Waltzing Again: New and Selected Conversations with Margaret Atwood

Waltzing Again: New and Selected Conversations with Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood. Ontario Review Press, $16.95 (280pp) ISBN 978-0-86538-117-9

The title of this collection comes from a statement from its celebrated subject, author and poet Margaret Atwood, on interviewing: ""I don't mind 'being interviewed' any more than I mind Viennese waltzing-that is, my response will depend on the agility and grace and attitude and intelligence of the other person."" Atwood fills her dance card with these 21 interviews, dropping nimble observations on her interviewers (Joyce Carol Oates among them) regarding the nature of writing (""I think most writers share this distrust of language-just as painters are always wishing there were more colors, more dimensions""), Canadian literary culture (""like a group of figures dancing with considerable vigor and some grace on the edge of a precipice""), and the creative process. Atwood is lively, not afraid of chiding her interviewers ( ""Are you asking me or are you asking the book?"") and frequently brilliant in her discussion of feminism, her native land, her contemporaries and her work. Fans of Atwood will especially enjoy the more offbeat career moments she revisits-like the time she had to hold a book signing in the men's underwear department of a store in Alberta.