Title :Alias Grace

Author : Margaret Atwood

Context :Alias Grace(1996) is a  470 page historical fiction novel set during the 1800s in Canada is authored by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood at the peak of her powers. This is a captivating and disturbing novel which went on to win the Booker Prize.

Synopsis : Grace Marks and James McDermott were convicted in 1843 in real-life for being involved in murdering their employer Thomas Kinnear, his mistress, Nancy Montgomery and the housekeeper. The convicted murderess is hired out from prison to serve in the house of the Governor of the penitentiary as a domestic servant. While some believe Grace to be insane or evil, other feel she is innocent. Initially Grace was sentenced to death, was sent to a mental institution and later on put into prison. After being sentenced to life imprisonment, she claimed to have complete memory loss about the three murders. McDermott was hung for committing the murders.

A group of spiritualists and reformers appoint an up-and-coming expert Simon Jordan to research the case and get into the burgeoning mental illness field so that Alias Grace is able to seek pardon. The expert listens to her story as she gets closer and closer to the day of the murders. The question is, while trying to unlock her memories, what will he be able to find.

On the face of it, he conducts research into the convict’s criminal behaviour but gets involved in Grace’s story and tries reconciling his perception of the mild-mannered convict.

Other works by the Author :

1969 – The Edible Woman

1972 – Surfacing

1976 – Lady Oracle

1979 – Life Before Man

1981 – Bodily Harm

1985 – The Handmaid’s Tale

1988 – Cat’s Eye

1993 – The Robber Bride

2000 – The Blind Assassin

2003 – Oryx and Crake

2005 – The Penelopiad

2009 – The Year of the Flood

2013 – MaddAddam

2015 – The Heart Goes Last

2016 – Hag – Seed

2019 – The Testaments