Monday, March 6, 2023

Old Babes in the Wood

Old Babes in the Wood: Stories by Margaret Atwood
3/7/23; 272 pages
Random House

Old Babes in the Wood: Stories by Margaret Atwood is a highly recommended collection of fifteen short stories. Some of these stories are new and some have been previously published. As with most short story collections, some will resonate with different readers more than others.

The stories are arranged into three different sections. Section I, Tig & Nell has three stories: First Aid; Two Scorched Men; Morte de Smudgie. Section II, My Evil Mother contains seven stories: My Evil Mother; The Dead Interview; Impatient Griselda; Bad Teeth; Freeforall; Metempsychosis; Airborne; Death by Clamshell. Section III, Nell & Tig has four stories: A Dusty Lunch; Widows; Wooden Box; Old Babes in the Wood.

As expected the descriptive quality of the writing is excellent. I appreciated all of the stories in the sections featuring Tig and Nell (or Nell and Tig) that follow a married couple across decades and after the death of one of them. The stories in section two were a bit more uneven for me. I didn't care for The Dead Interview, which imagines Atwood interviewing George Orwell, Bad Teeth, or Airborne.

After reading Margaret Atwood's novel and short stories for many years, I feel confident to say that most Atwood fans will enjoy the majority of the stories included in this collection. Additionally, I would certainly recommend that those who are fans along with those new to Atwood give this collection a try due to the wide variety of genres the stories included cover.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Random House via NetGalley

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