The Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood

Laura Chase’s older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War.

While coping with her unreliable body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister’s tragic death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following. Sexually explicit for its time, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a man on the run. During their secret meetings in rented rooms, the lovers concoct a pulp fantasy set on Planet Zycron. As the invented story twists through love and sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real one; while events in both move closer to war and catastrophe. By turns lyrical, outrageous, formidable, compelling and funny, this is a novel filled with deep humour and dark drama.

Explore the other winners

Shortlist announced - 21 Apr

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Live

  • A Spell of Winter
    5% 106 / 2.1k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    1% 41 / 2.1k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 28 / 2.1k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    0% 15 / 2.1k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    0% 16 / 2.1k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    0% 10 / 2.1k
  • Bel Canto
    4% 89 / 2.1k
  • Property
    0% 9 / 2.1k
  • Small Island
    8% 185 / 2.1k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    8% 173 / 2.1k
  • On Beauty
    3% 67 / 2.1k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    20% 433 / 2.1k
  • The Road Home
    2% 54 / 2.1k
  • Home
    2% 49 / 2.1k
  • The Lacuna
    2% 59 / 2.1k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    1% 30 / 2.1k
  • The Song of Achilles
    11% 240 / 2.1k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 26 / 2.1k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    2% 57 / 2.1k
  • How to be Both
    4% 90 / 2.1k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    2% 54 / 2.1k
  • The Power
    4% 105 / 2.1k
  • Home Fire
    6% 130 / 2.1k
  • An American Marriage
    4% 100 / 2.1k
Win a set of our 2020 shortlist!

Sign up for the Women's Prize for Fiction newsletter and win a stack of this year's six shortlisted books.

(We will send you occasional emails full of author interviews, extracts and audio, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Please read our privacy policy for more information).