Alias Grace

McClelland&Stewart Limited (2000)

Alias Grace is based on the story of the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinneat and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Upper Canada. While the novel is based on true facts, the perspective is written through the eyes of a fictional doctor, Simon Jordan, who is researching the case. The story follows Jordan's researching of criminal behaviour, but is altered to the attempt to reconcile the truth about the case, and Grace Marks's involvement. Grace Marks and fellow servant of the house, James McDermott, were convicted of the crime. McDermott was hanged and Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The novel is written from various points of view, told mostly through the eyes of Grace Marks in the first person, and the doctor in third person. The shifting point of view makes the text appear disjointed and adds to the effect of uncertainty in the narrative. When written from Grace's point of view, the reader is never sure if Grace is speaking or thinking, as Atwood does not use punctuation to indicate either.

Alias Grace is a novel of historical fiction first published in 1996. It won the Canadian Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.


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