Skip to content

The Blind Assassin

June 26, 2014 in

The phrase "gnawing realization," but a whole book.

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Oh goodness. This book aches, and breaks you a bit. The entire book is a personification of that feeling (that comes upon you slowly and then suddenly you realize has crescendoed to a point that is nearly unbearable) when you think you know someone well and then become aware there was this whole other secret world percolating underneath them all along that you knew nothing of. It’s the phrase “gnawing realization,” but a whole book.

Atwood gives us layers upon layers of this — we learn new truths about the narrator, and she learns new truths about those in her life, and things keep rustling away from the top of those truths in ways that are partially lovely in their honesty but mostly just hurt.

“You want the truth, of course. You want me to put two and two together. But two and two doesn’t necessarily get you the truth. Two and two equals a voice outside the window. Two and two equals the wind. The living bird is not its labelled bones.”

– The Blind Assassin

Top image credits Top left: Spheniscus magellanicus, Spheniscidae, Magellanic Penguin, Skeleton; Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Germany. By H. Zell, licensed cc-by-sa. Book cover: The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood, Virago Press ISBN 1860498809

Leave a Comment

Christina Blust

Christina is a vocalist, songwriter, and player of accordion, guitar and piano. In addition to performing and writing as a solo artist, she has been a member of several projects including the indie-folk band Yearbook Committee (3-time SXSW official showcasing artist) and the accordion-electronic duo Mauveine. Her music has appeared on numerous releases and in an Emmy-award-winning documentary. Christina is also a designer, developer and one half of Blustery Day Design. She is an active Wikimedia contributor and supporter of open knowledge and is the co-founder of The Live Sincerely Project. Originally from northern Kentucky, Christina lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more.