Stone mattress | Margaret Atwood

I like older women as the central characters of stories. Older women make excellent central characters and should be used far more, authors please note. In this volume they allow Atwood’s wry humour to come through, which is always a pleasure, and her intelligence and curiosity are as sharp as ever.

I imagine her thinking ‘OK, let’s put these people in this situation and see what they do’ (I picture her more as a scientist in a lab pottering with petri dishes and pipettes than an artist). And we (well, I) always want to look in the microscope and see her experiments proceeding, because you know there’s a very good chance something of interest will occur. Sounds basic I know, but starting with a good ‘What if’ is everything, and she generally does, and these dark fables are no exception.