Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.' Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.
The author won the Giller prize for fiction in Canada.
Shortlisted for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 1998 and IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 1998 and Booker Prize for Fiction 1996.
'A sensuous, perplexing book, at once sinister and dignified, grubby and gorgeous, panoramic yet specific...I don't think I have ever been so thrilled...This, surely is as far as a novel can go' Julie Myerson, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
'Brilliant...Atwood's prose is searching. So intimate it seems to be written on the skin' Hilary Mantel 'Margaret Atwood is to be congratulated' Anita Brookner, SPECTATOR
'The outstanding novelist of our age' Peter Kemp, SUNDAY TIMES
'Oh brilliant! I cannot rave enough...with its explosive mixture of sex, murder and class conflict, Alias Grace is an absolute winner' Val Hennessey, DAILY MAIL
'One of the best modern novels I've come acrosss...written with such compelling intimacy that at times it is hard not to feel one is reading a memoir written exclusively for oneself.' THE WEEK
'In 1843, a 16-year-old Canadian housemaid named Grace Marks was tried for the murder of her employer and his mistress. The sensationalistic trial made headlines throughout the world, and the jury delivered a guilty verdict. Yet opinion remained fiercely divided about Marks - was she a spurned woman who had taken out her rage on two innocent victims, or was she an unwilling victim herself, caught up in a crime she was too young to understand? Such doubts persuaded the judges to commute her sentence to life imprisonment, and Marks spent the next 30 years in an assortment of jails and asylums, where she was often exhibited as a star attraction. In Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood reconstructs Marks's story in fictional form. Her portraits of 19th-century prison and asylum life are chilling in their detail. The author also introduces Dr Simon Jordan, who listens to the prisoner's tale with a mixture of sympathy and disbelief. In his effort to uncover the truth, Jordan uses the tools of the then rudimentary science of psychology. But the last word belongs to the book's narrator - Grace herself.' AMAZON.CO.UK