One of the worlds’ most acclaimed and popular authors, Margaret Atwood is a Canadian novelist, essayist, poet and activist. Her published work ranges widely and deeply but she is best-known for the classic novel of feminist, speculative fiction, The Handmaid’s Tale. First published in 1985, the novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and became a global bestseller and has gone on to sell more than 8 million copies in its lifetime. The book has recently returned to public attention - returning to bestseller lists both in the UK and in the United States - becoming a rallying symbol for protestors at women’s marches after the election of Donald Trump and inspiring an Emmy Award-winning television series.
An unforgettable portrait of defiance and authoritarian rule, The Handmaid's Tale is a classic dystopian vision of a terrifyingly believable future. A powerful, devastatingly wry exploration of female oppression, it has resounding resonance for our times.
This groundbreaking new graphic novel edition, adapted and featuring arresting artwork by Renee Nault, is destined to become a classic in its own right.
‘There’s Nothing Foolproof’
Books without boundaries, Margaret Atwood’s novels refuse to be categorized. Are they feminist ideologies, haunting dystopias, mythical re-workings or science fiction classics? The answer may be all of these things and yet none of them, quite.
'We Lived In the Gaps Between the Stories...'
'EXTINCTATHON, Monitored By MaddAddam... Do You Want To Play?'The Maddaddam Trilogy is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece, a chilling dystopian vision that will stay with you long after you've read the final page.
'Pedestals Actually Have a Limited Circumference. Not Much Room to Move Around.'
Margaret Atwood continually experiments in her work, in novels as well as poetry, essays and critical works.
'I Read For Pleasure and That is the Moment I Learn the Most.'
Variously covering the themes and genres of feminist ideology, haunting dystopia, mythical re-working, speculative science fiction and witty, contemporary drama, Margaret Atwood’s work is diverse and startlingly original.
Her first publications were poetry - a form to which she has returned throughout her career – but it was with the publication of her novel The Edible Woman that she first found literary recognition. Published in 1969 the novel, and Atwood herself, were quickly adopted as icons of the feminist movement but Atwood has always denied such over labelling of her work, saying, "novels are something else. They aren't just political messages… it's not a matter of men against women."
An Alternative History
More novels followed including Surfacing and Lady Oracle, continuing the themes of women’s relationships with their bodies and negotiations of social and sexual politics that were fast becoming her trademarks.
Then, in the spring of 1984, whilst living in West Berlin, still at that time encircled by the Berlin Wall, Atwood wrote the iconic masterpiece The Handmaid’s Tale, a twisted speculative vision of an Orwellian future where reproduction is threatened and women enslaved. Now on school syllabuses, the novel is frequently described as dystopian but although influenced by Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451, Atwood claims she only included events with real precedence, commenting, "I did not wish to be accused of dark, twisted inventions, or of misrepresenting the human potential for deplorable behaviour."
'A Future Whose Beginnings Are Already With Us'
The novels that followed have continued to stretch and challenge readers and critics’ expectations and have ranged from more overtly narratively straightforward novels, like Cat’s Eye, to the more experimental, including her contribution to The Canongate Myths Series, The Penelopiad, and her contemporary re-working of The Tempest, Hag Seed.Atwood’s more recent novels have often had a distinct flavour of science fiction, including The Blind Assassin (for which she won both The Booker Prize and the Arthur C Clarke Prize for Science Fiction) and her Maddaddam trilogy. Now in her seventies, Atwood is still constantly experimenting and she says she dreads being called an icon, "if you’re put on a pedestal you’re supposed to behave yourself like a pedestal type of person. Pedestals actually have a limited circumference. Not much room to move around."