When others come to us with their troubles, it is common that we start providing advice and responding with our own stories from our own experiences. Perhaps when your friend shared that he or she was struggling in relationships, you responded with your personal struggles with relating to your best friend. Or when your family shared with you about their busy day at work, you responded with an ever-ready phrase ‘me too’. Continue Reading…
Margaret Atwood is Canada’s most eminent novelist and poet, and also writes short stories, critical studies, screenplays, radio scripts and books for children; her works have been translated into over 30 languages. She is perhaps best known, however, for her novels, in which she creates strong, often enigmatic, women characters and excels in telling open-ended stories, while dissecting contemporary urban life and sexual politics. Her first novel was The Edible Woman (1969), about a woman who cannot eat and feels that she is being eaten. This was followed by: Surfacing (1973), which deals with a woman’s investigation into her father’s disappearance; Lady Oracle (1977); Life Before Man (1980); Bodily Harm (1982), the story of Rennie Wilford, a young journalist recuperating on a Caribbean island; and The Handmaid’s Tale (1986), a futuristic novel describing a woman’s struggle to break free from her role. She subsequently published Cat’s Eye(1989), dealing with the subject of bullying among young girls; The Robber Bride (1993); Alias Grace (1996), the tale of a woman who is convicted for her involvement in two murders about which she claims to have no memory; The Blind Assassin (2000), a multi-layered family memoir; and Oryx and Crake (2003), a vision of a scientific dystopia, which was shortlisted for the 2003 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction. Alias Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction; The Blind Assassin won this prize in 2000.
Some of Margaret Atwood’s books have been adapted for stage and screen. A television series based on Alias Grace was broadcast in 2017, and a television film for The Robber Bride appeared in 2007. The Edible Woman has been staged, while The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted for screen by Harold Pinter in a film directed by Volker Schloendorf, released in 1990, staged as an opera by Poul Ruders – the British Premiere was performed by English National Opera at the Coliseum, London, in April 2003 – and became a television series in 2017.
Recent books are: Stone Mattress (2014), a collection of short stories; MaddAddam (2013), concluding the dystopian trilogy started with Oryx and Crake (2003) and The Year of the Flood (2009); The Heart Goes Last (2015) and Hag-Seed (2016). In 2011, she published a book of essays about science-fiction, entitled In Other Worlds: Science Fiction and The Human Imagination.
Iconic Author Margaret Atwood on Abortion, Twitter, and Predicting Everything We’re Doing Wrong
Why should you read “The Handmaid’s Tale”? – Naomi R. Mercer
According to a street survey conducted by a group of social workers and volunteers in March 2017, they found that there were 180 persons sleeping on the streets on one night across 25 sites. While this is the minority of the population, it is unthinkable that Singapore is one of the most affluent countries in the world with a high rate of homeownership and accessibility to public housing for most Singaporeans, still has homeless people. So, who are the homeless and destitute? Where do they live? What could have caused them to be in such a circumstance?
Most of the homeless surveyed were single, widowed or divorced men.
Some have limited social support.
No more than 20% of them seek out social services for help.
They are out in the streets because of family conflict, economic disadvantage and lack of housing options.
60% of those surveyed were working mostly full-time with the rest in part-time or casual employment. However, these jobs were mostly low-paying and irregular jobs, making them financially insecure.
They slept at public benches, pieces of cardboard on the ground, public walkways and 24-hour fast food restaurants near their workplace.
Here are a few hurdles the homeless have to jump over to get off the street:
Temporary shelters give priority to families with children or elderly parents, and they are often operating at full capacity.
While public rental housing from the Housing and Development Board is made accessible by needing just two unrelated individuals to share a one-room flat, there is always friction between two strangers co-residing in a small space, discomfort due to poor ventilation, hygiene or noise from neighbours.
When the homeless person checks himself into a welfare home voluntarily, they may not legally leave without permission. This risk of losing their freedom causes them much anxiety.
The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925. The novel is famous for capturing the mood of the 1920s, especially the moral void of a post-war society America obsessed with wealth and status. Although hardly a success upon its release, the novel is considered an American classic today, and many adaptations of the story have been made for stage, film, radio, and television. An operatic version of the story premiered in 1999. Continue Reading…