The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out by Rosemary Sullivan

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When Margaret Atwood was a little girl in 1949, she saw a movie called The Red Shoes. It is the story of a beautiful young woman who becomes a famous ballerina, but commits suicide when she cannot satisfy one man, who wants her to devote her entire life to her art, and another who loves her, but subjugates her to become his muse and inspiration. She struggles to choose art, but the choice destroys her.

Margaret Atwood remembers being devastated by this movie, but unlike many young girls of her time, she escaped its underlying message. Sustained by a strong sense of herself, Margaret Atwood achieved a stratospheric literary career. How did a young girl, in those pre-feminist days, create the instinctive capacity to believe in herself? As pre-eminent biographer Rosemary Sullivan says: "The answer has to do with the mystery of self-confidence".

Harpercollins Canada, 1998.
ISBN: 9780002554237. 359 pp.
Hardcover. Near fine in a near fine jacket.
Gift inscription on front free endpaper.