this is such a great book! i tried to read other stuff by her (margaret atwood) before, but could never get into it. not only is her writing amazing, but the plot was also compelling. it was disturbing though. not just the plot itself, but that you can almost identify with the society she's created; its existence is possible.
here are some quotes:
"I try not to think too much. Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There's a lot that doesn't bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last. I know why there is no glass, in front of the water colour picture of blue irises, and why the windown opens only partly and why the glass in it is shatter proof. It isn't running away they're afraid of. We wouldn't get far. It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge."
"Or I would help Rita to make the bread, sinking my hands into that soft resistant warmth which is so much like flesh. I hunger to touch something, other than cloth or wood. I hunger to commit the act of touch."
"We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.. The newspaper stories were like bad dreams to us, bad dreams dreamt by others. How awful, we would say, and they were, but they were awful without being believable. They were too melodramatic, they had a dimension that was not the dimension of our lives. We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories."
"I wait. I compose myself. My self is a thing I must now compose, as one composes a speech."
"It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances, too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described.."
"The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you've been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil."
"If you don't like it, change it, we said, to each other and to ourselves. And so we would change the man, for another one. Change, we were sure, was for the better always. We were revisionists; what we revised was ourselves. It's strange to remember how we used to think, as if everything were avaible to us, as if there were no contingencies, no boundaries; as if we were free to shape and reshape forever the ever-expanding perimeters of our lives."