Bodily Harm (novel)

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Bodily Harm
First edition cover
Author Margaret Atwood
Country Canada
Language English
Publisher McClelland & Stewart
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
ISBN 0-7704-2256-X (first edition)
OCLC 257154527
Preceded by Life Before Man
Followed by The Handmaid's Tale

Bodily Harm is a novel by Margaret Atwood. It was first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1981.

Plot introduction[edit]

The novel's protagonist Rennie Wilford is a travel reporter. After surviving breast cancer, she vacations on the fictional Caribbean island St. Antoine. The island, however, is on the brink of revolution. Rennie tries to stay away from politics, but is drawn into events through her romance with Paul, a key player in the uprising, and ends up in a survival struggle.


A major theme of Bodily Harm is power.

As in many of the heroines of Atwood's novels, Rennie is addicted to negative relationships. She feels "hooked like a junkie" to her relationship with Jake, and becomes unable to distinguish between sadomasochism and genuine aggression.[1]


  1. ^ Howells, Coral Ann (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood. Cambridge Companions to Literature. Cambridge University Press. pp. 46–50. ISBN 978-0-521-83966-2. 

External links[edit]