books of the month newgen books for YA readers
Search our site
I Stop Somewhere by T. E. Carter Read the opening extract of the brand new T. E. Carter book before its publication on 19/04/2018

Stone Mattress Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

Lovereading view...

Atwood is able to subtly weave a sledgehammer of a story, here are nine tales with themes ranging from revenge to resignation, from grace to greed and all connected by the wheel of time and change. If you haven't read any of her previous works, this is the perfect place to start; a story might link in to another, one might be very short, another dipping a toe into a fantasy realm. You will undoubtedly have your favourite stories and characters, and that is part of the charm, the wit, the clever competent writing. This is also the perfect place to start if short stories are unchartered territory, as you will most definitely not feel short changed by this wonderful collection. ~ Liz Robinson

If you like Margaret Atwood you might also like to read books by Evie Wyld, Susanna Clarke and Glen David Gold.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. ‘Calling a piece of short fiction a “tale”,’ says Margaret Atwood, ‘removes it at least slightly from the realm of mundane works and days, as it evokes the world of the folk tale, the wonder tale, and the long-ago teller of tales.’ Several stories in this collection are themselves concerned with ‘tales’: in ‘Alphinland’, a famed writer of high fantasy keeps the man who wronged her many years earlier walled up inside her elaborate imaginary world; ‘Revenant’ and ‘Dark Lady’ reveal more of that shared ancient history; in ‘The Dead Hand Loves You’, a bargain made by an aspiring novelist turns out to have cost him more than he could ever have imagined Irreverent, audacious, self-aware, these pieces often concern age, revenge, the rounding out of life. Black humour figures, as does Atwood’s love of the gothic and the dystopian, but whether serious or playful, the writing is always pin-sharp.
~ Karen Howlett


Stone Mattress Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatalite.


'One of the most important writers in English today.'

-Germaine Greer

'Margaret Atwood is the quiet Mata Hari, the mysterious, violent figure ... who pits herself against the ordered, too clean world like an arsonist Michael Ondaatje. It's easy to appreciate the grand array of Margaret Atwood's works ... in all their power and grace and variety. When I think of it, and put it together with her writerly gifts and achievements, it takes my breath away Alice Munro Atwood is a poet. Scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work'

- John Updike

About the Author

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

She is the author of more than twenty-five volumes of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman, The Handmaid's Tale, The Robber Bride and Alias Grace. Her novel, The Blind Assassin, won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000.

Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.

Author photo © George Whiteside

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

28th August 2014


Margaret Atwood

More books by Margaret Atwood
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


288 pages


Literary Fiction
Short Story Collections

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney