In the 1940s film 'The Red Shoes' a beautiful ballerina commits suicide when life forces her to choose between art and love. Margaret Atwood remembers being devastated by this movie as a young girl, but unlike many of her contemporaries, she came to reject its underlying message. How did Atwood, in those pre-feminist days, find the courage and confidence to believe in herself.
Award-winning biographer and poet Rosemary Sullivan explores the unfolding of a remarkable writer's career. She focuses on Atwood's formative years through to the late 1970s when the major elements of Atwood's life - the publication of 'Surfacing', 'Power Politics, and 'The Edible Woman', the relationship with writer Graeme Gibson, the birth of a daughter, the focus on Canadian culture - are set in place. A stunning blend of narrative and meditation, of discovery and insight, this is a major portrait of one of Canada's most provocative writers.