Posts Tagged: Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s (Cautionary) Tale

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At The Establishment, Laura Beans discusses the importance of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as a predictive novel, drawing many connections between the novel and increasing attempts to control women’s bodies:

Instead of seeming further from the truth, the novel’s warnings only seem to echo louder in recent years.

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Like Tears in Rain

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In a universe slowly sinking into entropy, writing can take the disordered pieces of our experience and fit their edges together into something organized. If the work of a writer is to tease out meaning from the tangled mess of life, many of these algorithms essentially do the opposite, taking meaningful human posts or experiences and reducing them to their barest reportable facts.

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All That We Could Do with This Emotion

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Writing for the Guardian, novelist Val McDermid disputes the recent study which suggests that “literary” fiction readers are more empathetic than “genre” readers:

There is no doubt that, historically, there was a valid distinction. Nobody would attempt to suggest that there is an equivalence between Agatha Christie and Virginia Woolf.

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Make Me Believe

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The response to [the Handmaid’s Tale] was interesting. The English, who had already had their religious civil war, said, “Jolly good yarn.” The Canadians in their nervous way, said, “Could it happen here?” And the Americans said, “How long have we got?”

For Lit Hub, Grant Munroe interviews Margaret Atwood on seemingly everything, touching on the Salem witch trials, Donald Trump, Canada as a place of refuge, and some of her million projects: Hag-seed, her adaptation of The Tempest; her graphic novel Angel Catbird; and the forthcoming Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, among others.

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Google vs. Author’s Guild

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The fight against Google’s digital library continues, and this time the effort has support from big-name authors like Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. Le Guin, Malcolm Gladwell, Peter Carey, and J. M. Coetzee. The case against Google making millions of books—many of them still under copyright protection—searchable online without paying for any licenses to do so goes back to 2005. 

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Writers Versus Censorship and Repression

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For the Guardian, Sian Cain reports on recent efforts from high-profile writers to push China to release Nobel Laureate and poet Liu Xiaobo from prison. According to Cain, Xiaobo was detained for “inciting subversion of state power,” and his supporters, including Margaret Atwood and Ian Rankin, hope he will be released by the seventh anniversary of his arrest.

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Margaret and the No Good, Very Bad Prison

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We know some of the things we desire are probably not what we should do. That’s what makes drama interesting.

Anshuman Iddamsetty sat down with Margaret Atwood to talk about her new book, The Heart Goes Last, and the conversation includes but is not limited to: the for-profit prison industrial complex, thirsty men, peeling back layers to expose human excretions, sexual violence, the grand human story, empathy, and baking.

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An Experiment in Fiction

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Atwood says this is not the time for realistic fiction — and it’s no coincidence that dystopia and fantasy are on the rise now. “I think they’re coming out of people’s feeling that things are going haywire, and you cannot depend on a stable background for ‘realistic fiction.’ And when there’s perceived instability that’s happening you can’t write that kind of novel and have people believe it.”

In a conversation with NPR, Margaret Atwood talks about her new novel, The Heart Goes Last, a book which NPR describes as difficult to define.

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Humpty Dumpty, the Original Mansplainer

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I can explain all the poems that were ever invented—and a good many that haven’t been invented yet.

No, that’s not the obnoxious guy from your Wallace Stevens seminar—that’s Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty, explaining “Jabberwocky” to Alice. Let Evan Kindley take you down the rabbit hole of literary annotation over at The New Republic—and for a contemporary examples, check out Margaret Atwood’s Genius annotation of an excerpt from her latest novel, The Heart Goes Last, at Lit Hub, or this excerpt from Scott Blackwood’s See How Small right here on The Rumpus.

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Mad Max

Rewrite, Reboot, Remix

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Rewriting the classics has become a stale and risk-averse strategy. But that shouldn’t spoil the fun of our larger culture of remixing. ...more

Atwood’s Magical Slumbering Book

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“There’s something magical about it,” says Atwood. “It’s like Sleeping Beauty. The texts are going to slumber for 100 years and then they’ll wake up, come to life again. It’s a fairytale length of time. She slept for 100 years.”

Margaret Atwood delivers her new novel, Scribbler Moon, to the wood-lined Future Library in Norway where it will slumber for 100 years, before being shared with the world.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week was the third annual #TwitterFiction Festival, held here, there, and everywhere in typical Twitter style. The Association of American Publishers and Penguin Random House partnered to host the event this year, bringing in such big names as Margaret Atwood (@MargaretAtwood), Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing), Eric Jerome Dickey (@EricJDickey), Jackie Collins (@JackieCollins), and Maggie Stiefvater (@mstiefvater).

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Robert Repino

The Rumpus Interview with Robert Repino

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Robert Repino talks about his debut novel, Mort(e), the publishing industry, science fiction and literary fiction, writing about religion, and how to write about complex chemical ant languages. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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Austin-based indie publisher A Strange Object unleashed a new digital magazine this week called Covered with Fur. The site is an elegant lesson in design, sleek and simple with just two large rectangles to choose from for its weekly offerings, labeled “Fiction” and “Not.” According to their Submissions page, which is currently open, the “Not” category includes nonfiction writings in the form of microessays, essays, or columns about objects including “treatments of found things, repurposings, archival encounters… [also] writing on design or attachment or loss.”

With their first issue, Covered with Fur sets the fiction bar high with Bess Winter’s story, “Are You Running Away?”

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This Week in Short Fiction

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With the Senate Intelligence Committee’s online release of their Torture Report summary and Melville House’s announcement last week that it will publish a bound copy of the summary report at the end of this year, torture has been in the air.

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Jeff VanderMeer author photo by Kyle Cassidy 2014

The Rumpus Interview with Jeff VanderMeer

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Jeff VanderMeer discusses the environment, his childhood, and the conception and conclusion of his Southern Reach Trilogy. ...more

A Blurb of Beauty

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At Book Riot, Amanda Diehl brings an optimistic anecdote to the often-bleak conversation on the value of book blurbs (typically rife with accusations of corporatism, cronyism, and empty praise). If the form can rise to the artistry of Margaret Atwood’s one-line praise for Laline Paul’s The Bees—“[A] gripping Cinderella/Arthurian tale with lush Keatsian adjectives”—perhaps there’s hope for the blurb yet.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, Margaret Atwood released Stone Mattress, a collection of “wonderfully weird short stories.” Stone Mattress is Atwood’s eighth collection of stories, not to mention her 14 novels and other formidable volumes of poetry, children’s literature, and nonfiction. Reviewers across the boards are heralding this most recent work as “wise, sharp,” and “rich.”

Let’s look at the title story of the collection, published by the New Yorker back in December 2011.

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Books for the Future

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Margaret Atwood’s next book won’t be published for a hundred years. The Future Library project is collecting a hundred manuscripts to be released in the year 2114 with Atwood’s manuscript the first to be added to the collection. Earlier this year, 1,000 trees were planted that will eventually be harvested to publish the books collected by the project.

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