I am not a big fan of short stories in general. And I didn’t even know this was a collection of short stories because the blurb on the German edition (which I bought at a bargain!) did not make that very clear. After reading this I know why it failed to do so. This doesn’t feel like a collection of short stories at all. All stories deal with the same protagonist and her family. It has the feel of an episodic novel to it.
This was the first work by Atwood in a long time that wasn’t speculative fiction. Only once have I tried her other works before (The Robber Bride) and I didn’t like it then. After reading Moral Disorder I can only imagine that I wasn’t ready for her other works then. I was probably just too young to understand. I still haven’t reached the age of the protagonist who deals with pregnancy, aging, living with a married man… but I come to understand those fears and worries. Furthermore I have gained the ability to appreciate well-written fiction.
I read this one in German and I will never read Atwood in translation again. It’s not that it’s badly translated – not at all. But I feel like Atwood’s style is lost in translation and the Canadian/American cultural background tends to be blurred (translating “Raggedy Ann” into German doesn’t make much sense).
This collection/novel/whatever was beautiful and slightly depressing. It made me appreciate Margaret Atwood even more. And if short stories were more often done like this I would be (tricked into) reading more of them.