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Cat's Eye

A novel by Margaret Atwood

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The Tortured Artist

  • Aug 8, 2010
Elaine Risley is an artist (although she prefers the term “painter”) who is about to be honored with a retrospective. After years in relative obscurity, her work will be shown in a major Toronto gallery. As she prepares the opening, she recalls her journey to becoming a painter. During World War II, Elaine and her family traveled across Canada as her father pursued a career as an entomologist. Elaine’s closest friend was her older brother Stephen, with whom she is homeschooled and spends most of her time. When the family moved to Toronto after the year, Elaine attends the local public school and begins to make friends with other young girls. She finds their behavior and games often perplexing and continues to be close with her brother. However, as time passes, she and her brother become grow apart. In addition, Elaine’s friends ruthlessly torment her. She begins to believe that she deserves this treatment, which escalates until she nearly freezes to death. Looking back on her life as an adult, she realizes that these “friendships” have both her personality and her art. Cat’s Eye is a beautifully written exploration of identity, friendship and childhood. It is highly recommended to all, especially young women.


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review by . August 20, 2012
This gentle story is partially a coming-of-age and partly about interpersonal relationships.      Elaine is an artist who returns to Toronto for a retrospective of her work. Her art work is based on her life so in learning about her life, we have an idea and appreciation of what's behind her art.      The story is divided into parts with flashbacks into her childhood. Her early memories are of constantly moving and not having any real friends except for …
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Anne ()
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Member Since: Aug 7, 2010
Last Login: Aug 22, 2010 04:57 PM UTC
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