Picks and Pans Review: Moral Disorder

updated 10/02/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/02/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Margaret Atwood

Billed as a collection of stories, Moral Disorder has the cadence of a memoir and the satisfying arc of a novel. Atwood fans will recognize the main character—a brainy daughter who spends her early adulthood drifting. This alter ego appears in guises from the 11-year-old puzzling out the facts of life to the aging wife letting go of the illusion that she can make a difference in the world. Atwood's incisive writing about being young and female made her reputation decades ago. Her writing about growing old cements it.

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