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Atwood, Margaret.

Murder in the Dark.


Inscribed to Mark Strand
Atwood, Margaret. Murder in the Dark. Short Fictions and Prose Poems. Toronto: Coach House Press, (1983).
Slim 8vo.; wrappers decoratively printed in pink, black and white; with author photograph on lower panel; lightly edgeworn. In a specially made cloth slipcase.
First edition of Atwood's third collection of short stories. Cover collage by Atwood. Some of the pieces included here were previously published in Adam, Bread & Roses, Exile, Fireweed, Island, Littfass, Liturataz, The Lunatic Gazette, Quest, Tamarack Review, This Magazine, Time Out and Toronto Life. Twenty-eight short fiction and prose poems are printed here in four sections, with titles including "Autobiography," "Making Poison," "Boyfriends," "Women's Novels," "She," "Iconography" and "Liking Men."
"Women's Novels" is a humorous, thoughtful seven-part muse on the difference between men's and women's novels. Part six reads:
Some people think a woman's novel is anything without politics in it. Some think it's anything about relationships. Some think it's anything with a lot of operations in it, medical ones I mean. Some think it's anything that doesn't give you a broad panoramic view of our exciting times. Me, well, I just want something you can leave on the coffee table and not be too worried if the kids get into it. You think that's not a real consideration? You're wrong. (35)
Nineteen eighty-three was a productive year for Atwood; during this year she also published a novel, Unearthing Suite, and a collection of poems, Snake Poems.
A presentation copy, inscribed on the title page: For Mark Strand/ with thanks for the dark and more - Margaret Atwood. With a single annotation by Strand: in the poem "Mute," on page 49, he underlined in pencil, "how do you wash a language?"
Strand and Atwood are professional acquaintances, having met in and around the New York poetry circuit in the early 1980s; they exchanged books at various readings, and saw each other at events over the years.

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