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Excerpt: "Margaret Atwood is a prolific and award-winning Canadian writer whose work regularly exposes the destructive and oppressive forces at work in society, particularly as they affect women. Though Atwood refers to herself as a 'strict agnostic: she maintains an interest in religion, which is evident in her fictional work (Moyers 2006).1 Atwood's second novel, Surfacing (1973) , has received a fair amount of critical attention for its religious themes and is examined in both Carol Christ's Diving Deep and Surfacing and Barbara Rigney's work Lilith's Daughters.2 Atwood's Cat's Eye (1989), with its mystical Marian imagery, has also been explored by critics of religion and literature.3 In her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood (2009), Atwood again turns her attention to the religious dimension of human culture through her depiction of an eco-religion called God's Gardeners and a heroine who is a new convert. Atwood's recurrent interest in religion stems from her belief'that religion- that is, the stories we tell ourselves about where we come from and where we are going- is hard-wired into us: that there is no escape, so long as we remain human beings' (Wagner 2009). Moreover, Atwood recognizes the pervasiveness of religion in Western culture; she describes herself as not being 'raised with religion', but rather 'within one. Because I grew up within a culture where it was all over the place - including in the school system in Canada' (Wagner 2009)."


Originally published as chapter three of Abigail Rine's book, Irigaray, Incarnation and Contemporary Women's Fiction, Bloomsbury Academic, (c) Abigail Rine, 2013.

ISBN: 978-1-7809-3598-0