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Originally published in 1982, Second Words brings together fifty of Margaret Atwood's finest essays and reviews from 1962 to 1980, with an introduction and commentary by the author. With her incomparable wit and originality, Atwood discusses the process of writing and the literary life, with insightful looks at the work of such figures as Erica Jong, E. L. Doctorow, Northrop Frye, Roch Carrier, Marie-Claire Blais, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Marge Piercy, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath, and many more. In several pieces, we see the development of her ideas on Canadian identity and the American dream, as well as her controversial attitudes toward feminism, sexism, and the strange mythologies imposed on men and women in contemporary North America.
Second Words remains the largest collection of Atwood's critical prose to date.