Wilderness TipsPaperback - 1998 | 1st Anchor Books ed.
In each of these tales Margaret Atwood deftly illuminates the shape of a whole life: in a few brief pages we watch as characters progress from the vulnerabilities of adolescence through the passions of youth into the precarious complexities of middle age. The past resurfaces in the present in ways both subtle and dramatic: the body of a lost Arctic explorer emerges from the ice, a 2,000-year-old bog man turns up in an archeological dig, a man with dark secrets marries his lover's sister, a girl who disappears on a canoe trip haunts her friend many decades later. The richly layered stories in Wilderness Tips map interior landscapes shaped by time, regret, and lost chances, endowing even the most unassuming of lives with a disquieting intensity.
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Once in a while, though, he went on binges. He would sneak into bookstores or libraries, lurk around the racks where the little magazines were kept; sometimes he'd buy one. Dead poets were his business, living ones his vice. Much of the stuff he read was crap and he knew it; still, it gave him an odd lift. Then there would be the occasional real poem, and he would catch his breath. Nothing else could drop him through space like that, then catch him; nothing else could peel him open.
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