Surfacing novel by Margaret Atwood (Toronto, 1972; New York and London, 1973). Surfacing takes its title from its central metaphor, dramatizing a woman's passage from a precarious sense of self through madness towards a fuller identity. The novel is a powerfully poetic and political exploration of Canadian consciousness, personal and social, defined against a metaphorically "American" state of mind. To be "American" is to be violently depersonalized, disembodied, without a language, a past or a relation with nature. The woman and 3 friends go to her father's isolated cottage in northern Québec where, after a few days, relationships deteriorate and sexuality becomes a currency to bargain with. The woman's search for her missing father ends with the discovery of his drowned body, precipitating her descent into temporary, healing madness before she surfaces with a less "American," saner vision. The novel has been translated into French as Faire Surface (Montréal, 1978).