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  • Published: 13 June 2023
  • ISBN: 9781784877644
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

Life Before Man



From the international bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale, Life Before Man is a tragicomic tale of love seeking to find its way in the wake of death.

Life Before Man is a tragicomic tale of love seeking to find its way in the wake of death from the bestselling author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments

Elizabeth has just lost her latest lover to suicide while Nate, her husband, is working up to run off with Lesje. And Lesje? She would rather be studying dinosaurs than distracted by men.

As Elizabeth, Nate and Lesje find themselves imprisoned by walls of their own construction the ghost of Elizabeth’s dead lover hangs over them. Under his shadow, and in the spell of love, their lives will collide and entangle towards a single tragicomic climax.

‘Tender, funny, absorbing, idiosyncratic, truthful, heartening... A liberating novel’ Literary Review

  • Published: 13 June 2023
  • ISBN: 9781784877644
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

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.

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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

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