by Margaret Atwood - £9.99 Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2009)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780747598718 | ISBN 10: 0747598711
Payback is an intelligent, wide-ranging book that examines the metaphor of debt and the role it takes in our lives. “Debt” is like air – something we take for granted and never think about until things go wrong. This is not a book about debt management or high finance, but about debt as a very old, central motif in religion and literature and also in the structuring of human societies.
She looks at the language of debt in the Old Testament – what was ‘owed’ to God, and why. She then turns to investigate debt as sin in medieval and Elizabethan literature, before it develops into a plot-driving concept in nineteenth and twentieth century novels. The debts to society and to nature are discussed in the final essay in this book as Atwood explores how debt as a metaphor affects our understanding of the environment and death.
Topical, enlightening and probing, this is the work of one of the most gifted writers of our generation.
(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)