Surfacing Study Guide

Surfacing

Surfacing by Margaret Atwood

Surfacing is a 1972 novel by Margaret Atwood. The father of the unnamed female narrator has gone missing and, together with her lover and another couple, they return to her hometown to figure out where he's gone. Upon returning to her childhood home, the protagonist confronts her past, her memories and emotions and is eventually driven to insanity. The novel deals with political issues of Canadian nationalism, human alienation and feminism.

The book tells the story of a woman who returns to her hometown in Canada to find her missing father. Accompanied by her lover, Joe, and a married couple, Anna and David, the unnamed protagonist meets her past in her childhood house, recalling events and feelings, while trying to find clues to her father's mysterious disappearance. Little by little, the past overtakes her and drives her into the realm of wildness and madness.

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