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9780887842269_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $100.00
published: Oct 2008


Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth

by Margaret Atwood

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economic history, folklore & mythology
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $100.00
published: Oct 2008

This specially designed and bound first edition of Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, signed by the author, is limited to 200 copies.

This special edition hardcover is Smyth sewn, comes with a silk ribbon page-marker, and is bound in a round-back three-piece case with Millbank Linen. The cover, with debossed images and lettering in silver and red foil, is a modification of the trade paperback cover designed by Bill Douglas at The Bang.

The interior is designed and typeset by award-winning designer Ingrid Paulson in Aldus Nova, an old-style serif typeface created by Hermann Zapf with Akira Kobayashi. Zapf is considered one of the great lettering artists of modern times. The typeface is named for Aldus Manutius, the famous fifteenth-century Venetian printer.

Contributor Notes

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. Her latest novel, The Testaments, is the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning TV series. Her other works of fiction include Cat’s Eye, finalist for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; The MaddAddam Trilogy; and Hag-Seed. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. She lives in Toronto with the writer Graeme Gibson.

  • Short-listed, National Business Book Award
  • Commended, Globe and Mail Top 100 Best Books of the Year
  • Runner-up, Axiom Business Book Awards - Business Ethics
  • Short-listed, OLA Evergreen Award (Forest of Reading)
Editorial Reviews

...replete with anecdotes and opinions, witticisms and barbs...Payback is more about economic principles, and even the market crisis, than it appears at first glance. As impressive as Atwood's intuitions, or her intellect, or even her humour, is her insistence on tracing responsibilities, and possibilities, back to those human, and thus imaginative, constructions.

— Globe and Mail

Payback is a delightfully engaging, smart, funny, clever, and terrifying analysis of the role debt plays in our culture, our consciousness, our economy, our ecology and, if Atwood is right, our future.

— Washington Post

Atwood's book is a weird but wonderful melange of personal reminiscences, literary walkabout, moral preachment, timely political argument, economic history and theological query, all bound together with wry wit and careful though casual-seeming research.†††††††

— Publishers Weekly

...a fascinating, freewheeling examination of ideas of debt, balance and revenge in history, society and literature - Atwood has again struck upon our most current anxieties.

— London Times Online

Payback is a stimulating, learned and stylish read from an eminent author writing from a heartfelt perspective.

— Literary Review of Canada

There has been much written about Atwood's 'prophetic vision' and her ability to be eerily 'prescient'...given Atwood's track record, I'm a believer...Either Atwood was born under a lucky star or she really should be moonlighting from a shady storefront with a sign that says 'Palm Readings: $25.'

— Rebecca Eckler

In Payback, Atwood freely mixes autobiography, literary criticism and anthropology in an examination of debt as a concept deeply rooted in human - and even, in some cases, animal - behaviour...Building an argument that abounds with literary examples...Atwood entertainingly and often wryly advances the familiar thesis that what goes around comes around.

— Toronto Star

...witty, acutely argued and almost freakishly prescient...as amusing as it is unsettling.

— Chicago Tribune

...[Payback is] elegant and erudite...As one would expect from a novelist of Ms Atwood's calibre, the phrasing is polished and the metaphors striking.

— Economist.com

...these pieces offer a panoramic look at how the concept of debt acts as a fundamental human bond and - when obligations go unfulfilled, when ledgers are left unbalanced - how it can threaten to tear societies apart.

— Georgia Straight

Elegant and erudite...As one would expect from a novelist of Ms. Atwood's calibre, the phrasing is polished and the metaphors striking.

— Economist

The lectures remind us of why Atwood has been so important to our literature.

— Financial Post

Nothing if not timely...Few writers are able to combine the esoteric with the polemic as [Atwood] does...darkly entertaining.

— Winnipeg Free Press

...an extraordinarily vibrant Massey Lecture on debt, how it plays a motor force in much literature, in our own lives and in the machinations of the crowd we elect to govern us.

— Maclean's

A celebrated novelist, poet, and critic, Atwood has combined rigorous analysis, wide-ranging erudition, and a beguilingly playful imagination to produce the most probing and thought-stirring commentary on the financial crisis to date.

— New York Review of Books

...[Payback is]...a demonstration of Atwood's ability to evoke in memorable detail our vanished cultural past, and to examine both past and present in the form of language. Writing in this mode, she's never off her game.

— National Post

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