Good Bones and Simple Murders Book Cover

Good Bones and Simple Murders
Good Bones and Simple Murders
"In this collection of short works that defy easy categorization, Margaret Atwood displays, in condensed and crystallized form, the trademark wit and viruosity of her best-selling novels, brilliant stories, and insightful poetry. Among the jewels gathered here are Gertrude offering Hamlet a piece of her mind, the real truth about the Little Red Hen, a reincarnated bat explaining how Bram Stoker got Dracula all wrong, and the five methods of making a man (such as the "Traditional Method": "Take some dust off the ground. Form. Breathe into the nostrils the breath of life. Simple, but effective!") There are parables, monologues, prose poems, condensed science fiction, reconfigured fairy tales, and other miniature masterpieces—punctuated with charming illustrations by the author. A must for her fans, and a wonderful gift for all who savor the art of exquisite prose."  —The Publisher.

Short Fiction
Site Awards

Good Bones and Simple Murders is a US collection combining texts from
the previously published
Murder in the Dark (1983) and Good Bones (1992).
It contains 23 stories from Good Bones, 11 stories from Murder in the Dark,
and a new story, "Simple Murders."

Short Stories in this Collection:
  • "Bad News" — (Read Story)
  • "There Was Once" — (Read Story)
  • "The Female Body" — (Quote; Excerpt)
  • "Making a Man"
  • "Men at Sea"
  • "Hardball"
  • "An Angel"
  • "Third Handed"
  • "We Want It All" — (Read Story)
  • "The Little Red Hen Tells All" — (Read Story)
  • "Unpopular Gals" — (Read Story)
  • "In Love with Raymond Chandler" — (Read Story)
  • "Alien Territory" — (Quote)
  • "My Life as a Bat" — (Excerpt)
  • "Poppies: Three Variations"
  • "Death Scenes"
  • "Dance of the Lepers"
  • "Gertrude Talks Back" — (Read Story)
  • "Let Us Now Praise Stupid Women"
  • "Stump Hunting"
  • "Cold-Blooded"
  • "Homelanding" — (Excerpts)
  • "Good Bones"

  • "Murder in the Dark" — (Read Story)
  • "Simmering"
  • "She"
  • "The Boys' Own Annual, 1911"
  • "Women's Novels"
  • "Happy Endings" — (Summary; Read Story)
  • "Iconography"
  • "Bread"
  • "Liking Men"
  • "The Page"
  • "The Victory Burlesk"

  • "Simple Murders"

Excerpts from Good Bones and Simple Murders
Excerpt: "Bad News" -
Excerpt: "There Was Once - Mississippi Review
Excerpt: "Unpopular Gals" - Mississippi Review
Excerpt: "We Want It All" - GeoCities
Excerpt: "The Little Red Hen Tells All" - Dr. B. Freeman
Excerpt: "In Love with Raymond Chandler" - NPR
Excerpt: "Gertrude Talks Back" - UGA
Excerpt: "Murder in the Dark" -
Excerpt: "Happy Endings" - IPFW

Book Reviews
New York Times Review, 1994
Entertainment Weekly Review, 1994

Essays on Good Bones and Simple Murders
Murder in the Dark: Margaret Atwood's Inverse Poetics of Intertextual Minuteness - R. M. Nischik
Margaret Atwood's Textual Assassinations - Sharon R. Wilson [.pdf]
Rewriting Canonical Portrayals of Women: Gertrude Talks Back - Pilar Cuder Dominguez
Atwood's Unhappy Endings - Erica Davis

Study Guides and Miscellaneous Resources
Discussion questions for "Gertrude Talks Back" - Cappelen

Gertrude karsilik veriyor: Turkish Translation of "Gertrude Talks Back" - Berna Saribas

to Margaret Atwood's Short Stories

to Margaret Atwood

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This page created on December 18, 2006 by Anniina Jokinen. Last updated July 26, 2007.

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Margaret Atwood has gone on to become not just
a major Canadian Writer, and a woman writer (whom some would call a Feminist Writer),
but an award-winning author of English literature. Her works include novels,
short stories, poetry, etc.