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'A splendid work...superb' - Marilyn French

Life Before Man explores the lives of three people imprisoned by walls of their own construction and in thrall to the tragicomedy we call love.

Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality and suppressed rage, has just lost her latest lover to suicide. Nate, her gentle, indecisive husband, is planning to leave her for Lesje, a perennial innocent who prefers dinosaurs to men. Hanging over them all is the ghost of Elizabeth's dead lover, and the dizzying threat of three lives careening inevitably towards the same climax.

Reviews

A modern saga...she has a fine ear for words and a quick wit for absudities

The Times

An extraordinary imagination - witty, light-footed, realistic, yet with shooting insights into the nature of personality and love

Isabel Quigley, Financial Times

Life Before Man - tender, funny, absorbing, idiosyncratic, truthful, heartening - is a liberating novel. It desrves a wide readership

Michael Herbert, Literary Review

Mordant intelligence; formidable insight into the springs of human self-deception, self-aggrandisement and self-destruction; and an effortless, always vivid style

Jeffrey Meyers, Spectator

Beautifully written and constructed... A rich and elegant achievement

Peter Kemp, Listener

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099741015

    November 8, 1996

    Vintage

    320 pages

    RRP $28.99

    Online retailers

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Also by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale
Hag-Seed
The Handmaid's Tale (Vintage Future)
The Secret Loves Of Geeks
Angel Catbird Volume 3 The Catbird Roars (Graphic Novel)
Angel Catbird Volume 2 To Castle Catula (Graphic Novel)
The Secret Loves Of Geek Girls Expanded Edition
Angel Catbird Volume 1 (Graphic Novel)
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope & Odysseus: Text Myth Series
Cats Eye
Bluebeard's Egg and Other Stories
Bodily Harm
Dancing Girls and Other Stories

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Girl on the Train
The Golden House
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Swing Time
The Mistress
Tiger Men
The Golden Age
Fifty Shades Darker
A Long Way from Home
Uncommon Type
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
Line of Fire
Ready Player One