RaveThe Boston GlobeThe stories in Stone Mattress, her latest book, possess that quality; they also tend to stray beyond the boundaries of realism and into the psychic terrain of the teller. Predictably amazing, this collection — eclectic, funny, vibrant, terrifying, beautiful and utterly delightful — illustrates why Atwood is a fan favorite as well as a critic’s dream .... While many of the men in Stone Mattress are revealed as ego-driven, highly functioning idiots who inflate their mediocre intelligence and minor successes, often at the risk of their lives...Atwood is equally critical of the women who tolerate such behavior, and they often meet similar disastrous ends, moral and otherwise ...offer piercing insight into the absurdity of human kindness and cruelty, thereby forcing the reader to reckon profoundly with these realities ...remind us that we all live under the veil of our delusions, and it’s up to us to find the courage to lift this veil and examine what’s beneath.
PositiveThe Boston GlobeWhat Gay does well is show the ways in which all of us have internalized an ‘essential feminism’ that either doesn’t exist or is so riddled with stereotypes as to no longer deserve our attention … Bad Feminist signals an important contribution to the complicated terrain of gender politics. From the book’s beginning to its end, Gay struggles to define the parameters of the very movement she claims to eschew by being ‘bad’ or contrary to and within it. There’s a lesson in that struggle for all readers.