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Payback

Massey Lectures - Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth

Margaret Atwood

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Now a major motion picture! Official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

The most prestigious and eagerly anticipated nonfiction series of the year teams up with legendary poet, novelist, and essayist Margaret Atwood to deliver a surprising look at the topic of debt — a timely subject during our current period of economic upheaval, caused by the collapse of a system of interlocking debts. In her wideranging, entertaining, and imaginative approach to the subject, Atwood proposes that debt is like air — something we take for granted until things go wrong. And then, while gasping for breath, we become very interested in it.

Payback is not a book about practical debt management or high finance, although it does touch upon these subjects. Rather, it is an investigation into the idea of debt as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature, and the structure of human societies. By investigating how debt has informed our thinking from preliterate times to the present day through the stories we tell each other, through our concepts of “balance,” “revenge,” and “sin,” and in the way we form our social relationships, Atwood shows that the idea of what we owe one another — in other words, “debt” — is built into the human imagination and is one of its most dynamic metaphors.

Publishers Weekly Review

Sep 29, 2008 – Atwood's book is a weird but wonderful mélange of personal reminiscences, literary walkabout, moral preachment, timely political argument, economic history and theological query, all bound together with wry wit and careful though casual-seeming research. “Every debt comes with a date on which payment is due,” Atwood observes on this conversational stroll, from the homely and familiar “notion of fairness” and “notion of equivalent values” in Kingsley's Water Babies to the thornier connection between debt and sin, memory and redemption in Aeschylus's Eumenides. “Any debt involves a story line,” Atwood points out as she leads the reader into “the nineteenth century debt as plot really rages through the fictional pages,” and ruin is financial for men, but sexual for women. Things get even darker on “the shadow side” where “the nastier forms of debt and credit”—debtors' prisons, loan sharks and rebellions—abide. Atwood is encyclopedic in her range, following threads wherever they lead—credit cards and computer programs, Sin Eaters, Saint Nicholas, Star Trek, the history of pawnshops and of taxation, Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty and Dante's Divine Comedy, Christ and Faust—and a consistently captivating storyteller.
Payback
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Published: Sep 15, 2008
  • Publisher: House of Anansi Press
  • Seller: House of Anansi Inc
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Massey Lectures
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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