Alias Grace This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Wealways seem fascinated with sensational murder trials. But what happens after thecrowds clear the courtroom and the media lose interest?

Margaret Atwoodnot only explores this question, but creates countless more to ponder long afterthe last chapter of Alias Grace, her novel based on the real-life conviction andimprisonment of Grace Marks in the mid-19th century.

The term"historical fiction" seems too stuffy and dull to describe Atwood'sintriguing and detail-rich tale, told through the eyes and memories of both Grace(a servant convicted of helping to kill her employer and his mistress) and SimonJordan, a young doctor interested in mental illnesses.

As Jordon probesGrace's memories, he and the reader are pulled into her tale of the days beforeand after the murders, but with some very important gaps - she claims to have nomemory of the murders themselves. Atwood provides Jordan's thoughts and insights,which stand in contrast to Grace's experiences and illustrates the very differentlives of the upper and lower classes.

Atwood also employs a variety ofstyles to set the tone for each chapter, whether with a few lines of poetry orquotes from period newspaper articles. She also includes (fictional) lettersbetween the characters, and the overall effect is captivating.

All in all,Atwood blends facts, speculation and her own storytelling ability in such a waythat the reader isn't sure what is fact and what is fiction. Atwood creates abelievable, fascinating tale that makes what could have been a bland historicalnovel quite exciting.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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