Grace Marks was a convicted double murderer in nineteenth-century Canada. Her case was well known at the time thanks to its sensationally violent and sexual details. The novel Alias Grace (1997) by Margaret Atwood engages in a discussion about the relationship between fact and fiction, scientific objectivity and power. This article analyses the relationship between Atwood’s fictional Grace Marks and Dr Simon Jordan, an American doctor who visits her in prison hoping to find out the truth about Grace and the murders. Both Grace and Dr Jordan are formed by the existing norms of the time period, norms which govern how men and women of their particular class should act. However, what makes their meetings noteworthy is that Grace Marks possesses knowledge of the norms and expectations and can therefore use them to her advantage, whereas Dr Jordan does not, despite being an educated and professional man. In the end, this leads to Grace’s ability to tell her own story, and Dr Jordan’s failure as a man of science.