Margaret Atwood

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.

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‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.' - Margaret Atwood

Undoubtedly the most highly-anticipated book of 2019, The Testaments is the landmark sequel to Margaret Atwood’s seminal masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale. Picking up fifteen years after its predecessor’s tantalisingly open-ended conclusion, The Testaments promises a new window into Atwood’s dystopian world, as seen through the eyes of three women of Gilead.

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The World of Gilead

The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Testaments
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The Testaments
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'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.
Oryx And Crake
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MaddAddam
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The Year Of The Flood
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‘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.

The Edible Woman
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Surfacing
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Lady Oracle
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Up in the Tree
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Life Before Man
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Bodily Harm
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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale
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Cat's Eye
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The Robber Bride
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Alias Grace
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The Blind Assassin
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The Penelopiad
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The Heart Goes Last
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Hag-Seed
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The Testaments
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'We Lived In the Gaps Between the Stories...'

Atwood's short stories are sometimes humorous, sometimes bizarre, but always insightful - often delving into everyday issues to reveal the many layers behind human behaviour.
Dancing Girls and Other Stories
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Murder In The Dark
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Bluebeard's Egg and Other Stories
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Wilderness Tips
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Good Bones
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The Tent
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Stone Mattress
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Moral Disorder
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I'm with the Bears
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Returning to her poetic roots for the first time in over a decade, Atwood produces a collection of remarkable range and theme. One of the most hotly anticipated publications of the year, Dearly is suffused with the seminal author’s shimmering intelligence and lyricism.

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'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.

Dearly
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The Door
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On Writers and Writing
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Curious Pursuits
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In Other Worlds
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Payback
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Margaret Atwood Launches The Testaments

34 years of anticipation comes to an unforgettable close. At our worldwide launch event at Waterstones Piccadilly, Margaret Atwood unveiled The Testaments, her Booker-shortlisted sequel to The Handmaid's Tale

Monday, 9 September 2019

Evening falls: the handmaids arrive at Waterstones' Piccadilly London flagship

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Monday, 9 September 2019

Evening falls: the handmaids arrive at Waterstones' Piccadilly London flagship

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Celebrating Margaret Atwood

Elif Shafak, Neil Gaiman, A.M. Homes, Temi Oh and Jeanette Winterson discuss the impact and legacy of Margaret Atwood's writing

The Guilty Feminist Live

With Deborah Frances-White talking with Kajal Odedra and Kemah Bob

Soapbox Moments

Caroline Criado Perez, Yasmeen Hassan, Kate & Ella Robertson, Sonny Hall, Gina Martin, Charly Cox and Jude Kelly proclaim the power of Atwood’s message

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Soapbox Moments

Caroline Criado Perez, Yasmeen Hassan, Kate & Ella Robertson, Sonny Hall, Gina Martin, Charly Cox and Jude Kelly proclaim the power of Atwood’s message

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Words into Action

Neil Gaiman and Caroline Criado-Perez; through paper, spirit and embroidery, the message spreads

The Reading

Romola Garai reads from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale; the Handmaidens take position

The Midnight Launch

Margaret Atwood reads from The Testaments; Midnight and the moment arrives

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The Midnight Launch

Margaret Atwood reads from The Testaments; Midnight and the moment arrives

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The Midnight Launch

Margaret Atwood reads from The Testaments; Midnight and the moment arrives

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All Things Come to She Who Waits

A Book for the World: our first customers discover The Testaments

Biography

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."