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By Margaret Atwood

Imprisoned via partitions in their personal building, listed here are 3 humans, every one in midlife, in midcrisis, pressured to make choices--after the foundations have changed.  Elizabeth, along with her managed sensuality, her suppressed rage, is married to the inaccurate man.  She has simply misplaced her most up-to-date lover to suicide.  Nate, her light, indecisive husband, is making plans to go away her for Lesje, a perennial blameless who prefers dinosaurs to men.  Hanging over all of them is the ghost of Elizabeth's useless lover...and the dizzying danger of 3 lives careening unavoidably towards an identical climax.

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She can't deliver him again, and for the 1st time she now not desires to. He’ll punish her for that notion later, without doubt, yet in the intervening time she’s away from him. She walks slowly down the marble stairs, fingering a handful of fur. Scraps. All that’s left of Chris, whom she will be able to not keep in mind complete. on the door she stuffs the package into her handbag, then takes the subway as much as St. George and alongside to fort Frank. She walks alongside the viaduct until she’s approximately within the center, over the snow-filled ravine and the speeding automobiles lower than. Like Auntie Muriel, she wishes her burial rituals. She opens her handbag and throws the fur scraps one after the other into area. Saturday, January 22, 1977 LESJE Lesje is sitting in Elizabeth’s lounge, balancing a small cup of what she supposes is superb espresso on her left knee. In her correct hand she’s retaining a liqueur glass half-full of Benedictine and brandy. She doesn’t understand how she’s ended up with bins of liquid and no position to place them. She’s optimistic she's going to very quickly spill at the very least one and doubtless either one of them onto Elizabeth’s mushroom-colored carpet. She’s wanting to break out. however the others are all enjoying a video game that substitutes the notice “moose” for the other notice within the identify of a Canadian novel. It should be Canadian. This it sounds as if is a part of the comic story. “As for Me and My Moose,” Elizabeth says, and everybody else within the room chuckles. “A Jest of Moose,” says the spouse of the fellow from Greek and Roman who works on the CBC. “A Moose of God,” replies the fellow, whose identify is Philip. no one calls him Phil. Elizabeth laughs and asks Lesje if she’ll have a few extra B & B. “I’m fine,” Lesje says, hoping she has murmured, fearing she’s blurted. She wishes a cigarette yet has no loose hand. She doesn’t learn novels and she or he hasn’t well-known a unmarried one of many titles the others, even Nate, even, occasionally, William, were batting round so simply. The misplaced Moose, she might say. yet that isn’t Canadian. the entire dinner has been like that. only a few pals, Elizabeth acknowledged. informal. So Lesje wore pants with an extended sweater-coat, and the 2 different ladies are in clothes. Elizabeth for as soon as isn't really in black; she’s donning a free gray chiffon quantity that makes her glance more youthful and thinner than she does at paintings. She even has a necklace on, a series with a silver fish. the opposite girl is in flowing mauve. Lesje, in her perky, clean-cut stripes, feels approximately twelve years outdated. She’s basically been capable of see Nate as soon as prior to this night. In desperation she referred to as his condominium; one of many young ones spoke back. “Just a minute. ” unexpectedly; the slam of the telephone hitting the ground. It should have tumbled from the desk. A shout. “Dad, it’s for you! ” They’d prepared to fulfill on the espresso store within the indoor mall on the backside of Lesje’s development. Reckless: what if William? “Why is she asking us to dinner? ” Lesje desired to understand, via this time frantic. She couldn’t again out now, it should glance humorous. To William to boot. And if she’d stated no before everything it's going to have regarded humorous too.

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