> Skip to content
Life Before Man
  • Published: 8 November 1996
  • ISBN: 9780099741015
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $28.99

Life Before Man



'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.

  • Published: 8 November 1996
  • ISBN: 9780099741015
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $28.99

About the author

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid's Tale, went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against the disempowerment of women, and with the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series. Its sequel, The Testaments, was published in 2019 and was a global number one bestseller and won the Booker Prize.

Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Also by Margaret Atwood

See all

Praise for Life Before Man

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

Tender, funny, absorbing, idiosyncratic, truthful, heartening... A liberating novel. It deserves 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

Related titles