Among the tricks and puzzles, the overwhelming sense of design encourages the reader that there will be answersThe very construction of Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin is puzzle-like. It is made up of four narratives, interleaved with each other. But how do they connect? The encompassing narrative, which begins and ends the novel, is told by Iris Griffen, now in her 80s, who looks back to her early life, and in particular to her teens and young adulthood in the 1930s and 1940s. The daughter of a well-intentioned Canadian businessman, her fate has been sealed by her marriage to her father’s business rival, Richard Griffen, an arrangement calculated to rescue the family’s failing fortunes. Alternating with sections of her narrative are chapters from a story entitled The Blind Assassin, told in the present tense. Two unnamed lovers pursue a surreptitious affair. The man – some kind of political subversive – is on the run, while the woman has reason to want the relationship to remain secret.During their meetings we get fragments of a third narrative, a kind of science fiction fable that the man tells the woman. On some distant planet a society believes that its welfare depends upon rituals …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books