"POWERFUL AND DISTURBING… A CLASSIC OF 20TH-CENTURY FICTION: FIRST EDITION OF SURFACING, INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION BY MARGARET ATWOOD
ATWOOD, Margaret. Surfacing. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, (1972). Octavo, original gray paper boards, original dust jacket.
First edition of Atwood's breakthrough second novel, to Francine du Plessix Gray, "one of the most important novels of the 20th century," signed and dated by Atwood in the year of publication on the half title.
"1972 was Atwood's annus mirabilis. In one and the same year she published Surfacing, a powerful and disturbing novel that has become a classic of 20th-century fiction, and Survival, an engaging study on the characteristic themes of Canadian literature" (Niederhoff in Connotations, V16). The novel's tale of a young artist who goes to a remote island in search of her father, "has been called 'a remarkable, and remarkably misunderstood book,' It has been read as a book about death, mortality, and as an illustration of Atwood's critical stance in Survival. It has also been read as a ghost story, a particularly intriguing point of view, since Atwood herself, in an interview, said, 'For me, the interesting thing in that book is the ghost in it, and that's what I like'" (Campbell in Mosaic, V.11). A "defining novel for Canadians' sense of their selves" (Hatch in Nischik, Margaret Atwood, 190), it is "a provocative blend of literary mystery, psychological thriller and spiritual journey." To Francine du Plessix Gray, "the relentless centrality of a woman's search for religious vision in Atwood's Surfacing… makes it a novel unique in our time… the singular prophetic power with which she depicts her heroine's quest makes it, for me, one of the most important novels of the 20th century" (New York Times). First edition, first printing: with no statement of edition or printings on the copyright page. Spadoni & Donnelly 2330. Contemporary owner inscription.
A fine copy.