Margaret Atwood, Prophet of Dystopian Fiction: The Stone Mattress

The Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

Tuesday’s Tale of Suspense   August 22, 2017


“At the outset, Verna had not intended to kill anyone.”

Do you like small horrors? What about quiet horror?  If you’ve never experienced Margaret Atwood’s fiction (she’s written 40 novels and currently quite popular right now with her The Handmaid’s Tale—a misogyist society where women have no rights and are forced to serve as breeders), here’s a fascinating and suspenseful  story to give you an introduction, The Stone Mattress.

Imagine you are on an Arctic cruise and you come into contact with a man who raped you in high school.  What would you say to this person? Would you seek revenge or forgiveness? Come and meet Verna. She is biting and clever as she is beautiful and courageous.

This is a compelling story and my first experience with Atwood’s fiction. I was blown away by this highly intelligent story of drama and intrigue.



You’ve likely seen lots of promos for the bestselling and critically acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale,  a film (1990) and the new series now available on Hulu. Atwood is enormously well read, especially by young writers. She began her career as a poet. Her writing is often in women’s-studies curricula; her stories explore issues of morality. The Handmaid’s Tale was on the American Library Association’s list of the top 100 banned books of the decade. Margaret Atwood is considered  to be the prophet of dystopian fiction.


The Handmaid’s Tale Trailer, film 1990, staring Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Natasha Richardson, Elizabeth McGovern; Screenplay by Harold Pinter.


The Handmaid’s Tale Series Trailer on Hulu:



The Stone Mattress short story is part of  a collection named The Stone Mattress.

Read Margaret Atwood’s short story The Stone Mattress here at


Do leave a comment!





Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, supernatural, ghost stories,  suspense, crime, sci-fi, and ‘quiet horror.’ Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds     Horror Novel Reviews     

Monster Librarian 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



Filed under Book Reviews, fiction, ghost story blogs, horror blogs, literary horror, murder mystery, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, suspense

6 responses to “Margaret Atwood, Prophet of Dystopian Fiction: The Stone Mattress

  1. Jay

    Loved this story (and the others in that collection). “Torching the Dusties” was disturbingly chilling but may have been my favorite in Stone Mattress. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cynthia Wetzler

    Hi Paula, Just finished this. She done him in! Awesome!!! Wh

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your Article rally good.
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    Liked by 1 person

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