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By Margaret Atwood
468 pp.; Anchor

Alias Grace is the second TV adaptation of a Margaret Atwood novel to come out this year—the first, of course, was Hulu's version of The Handmaid's Tale. This time, our heroine is Grace Marks, a Canadian maid who was convicted of murder in 1843 and subject to all manner of sexist—or just plain dim—ideas about psychology and rehabilitation. Director Mary Harron knows her way around stories about patriarchy (I Shot Andy Warhol) and cold-blooded murder (American Psycho) but Atwood's 1996 novel is worth the read for its masterful collage of narrative styles—prison memoir, folk tale, 19th century letters, poetry and songs—all of which expose how clumsily authorities understood women, violence or both combined. (November 3, Netflix)