What is the role of the writer? Prophet? High Priest of Art? Court Jester? Or witness to the real world? Looking back on her childhood and the development of her writing career, Margaret Atwood examines the metaphors that writers of fiction and poetry have used to explain – or excuse! – their activities, looking at what costumes they have seen fit to assume, what roles they have chosen to play. In her final chapter she takes up the challenge of the book’s title: if a writer is to be seen as ‘gifted’, who is doing the giving and what are the terms of the gift?
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