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About Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid's Tale, went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against the disempowerment of women, and with the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series. ‘Her sequel, The Testaments, was published in 2019. It was an instant international bestseller and won the Booker Prize.’
Atwood has won numerous awards including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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“Atwood’s powers are on full display” (Los Angeles Times) in this deeply compelling Booker Prize-winning novel, now updated with additional content that explores the historical sources, ideas, and material that inspired Atwood.
More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third: Aunt Lydia. Her complex past and uncertain future unfold in surprising and pivotal ways.
With The Testaments, Margaret Atwood opens up the innermost workings of Gilead, as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
The Handmaid's Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.
The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.
Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.
Set in the visionary future of Atwood’s acclaimed Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood is at once a moving tale of lasting friendship and a landmark work of speculative fiction. In this second book of the MaddAddam trilogy, the long-feared waterless flood has occurred, altering Earth as we know it and obliterating most human life. Among the survivors are Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, who is barricaded inside a luxurious spa. Amid shadowy, corrupt ruling powers and new, gene-spliced life forms, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move, but they can't stay locked away.
It's 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Captivating and disturbing, Alias Grace showcases bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood at the peak of her powers.
WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE
In The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood weaves together strands of gothic suspense, romance, and science fiction into one utterly spellbinding narrative. The novel begins with the mysterious death—a possible suicide—of a young woman named Laura Chase in 1945. Decades later, Laura’s sister Iris recounts her memories of their childhood, and of the dramatic deaths that have punctuated their wealthy, eccentric family’s history. Intertwined with Iris’s account are chapters from the scandalous novel that made Laura famous, in which two illicit lovers amuse each other by spinning a tale of a blind killer on a distant planet. These richly layered stories-within-stories gradually illuminate the secrets that have long haunted the Chase family, coming together in a brilliant and astonishing final twist.
In this final volume of the internationally celebrated MaddAddam trilogy, the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of the population. Toby is part of a small band of survivors, along with the Children of Crake: the gentle, bioengineered quasi-human species who will inherit this new earth.
As Toby explains their origins to the curious Crakers, her tales cohere into a luminous oral history that sets down humanity’s past—and points toward its future. Blending action, humor, romance, and an imagination at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is vintage Atwood—a moving and dramatic conclusion to her epic work of speculative fiction.
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Notable Book
A Best Book of the Year: The Guardian, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail
A GoodReads Reader's Choice
Look for The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, available now.
In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive.
Provocative, startling, prophetic, The Handmaid’s Tale has long been a global phenomenon. With this beautiful graphic novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s modern classic, beautifully realized by artist Renée Nault, the terrifying reality of Gilead has been brought to vivid life like never before.
El libro de cabecera de una nueva generación.
Amparándose en la coartada del terrorismo islámico, unos políticos teócratas se hacen con el poder y, como primera medida, suprimen la libertad de prensa y los derechos de las mujeres. Esta trama, inquietante y oscura, que bien podría encontrarse en cualquier obra actual, pertenece en realidad a esta novela escrita por Margaret Atwood a principios de los ochenta, en la que la afamada autora canadiense anticipó con llamativa premonición una amenaza latente en el mundo de hoy.
En la República de Gilead, el cuerpo de Defred sólo sirve para procrear, tal como imponen las férreas normas establecidas por la dictadura puritana que domina el país. Si Defred se rebela -o si, aceptando colaborar a regañadientes, no es capaz de concebir- le espera la muerte en ejecución pública o el destierro a unas Colonias en las que sucumbirá a la polución de los residuos tóxicos. Así, el régimen controla con mano de hierro hasta los más ínfimos detalles de la vida de las mujeres: su alimentación, su indumentaria, incluso su actividad sexual. Pero nadie, ni siquiera un gobierno despótico parapetado tras el supuesto mandato de un dios todopoderoso, puede gobernar el pensamiento de una persona. Y mucho menos su deseo.
Los peligros inherentes a mezclar religión y política; el empeño de todo poder absoluto en someter a las mujeres como paso conducente a sojuzgar a toda la población; la fuerza incontenible del deseo como elemento transgresor: son tan sólo una muestra de los temas que aborda este relato desgarrador, aderezado con el sutil sarcasmo que constituye la seña de identidad de Margaret Atwood. Una escritora universal que, con el paso del tiempo, no deja de asombrarnos con la lucidez de sus ideas y la potencia de su prosa.
«Merece un lugar de honor en el reducido estante reservado a las obras de literatura anticipatoria que han conseguido formar parte del folclore moderno. Un lugar cercano, y en ningún caso inferior, al de Un mundo feliz y 1984.»
«Una novela que ilumina con brillantez algunas de las más oscuras conexiones entre política y sexo. [...] Satisfactoria, inquietante y fascinante.»
The Washington Post
«Esta novela visionaria, en la que Dios y el gobierno se funden y Estados Unidos se convierte en una teocracia puritana, puede leerse como un volumen gemelo de 1984 de Orwell; de hecho, como su reverso.»
E. L. Doctorow
«Una historia de anticipación fascinante, maravillosamente escrita, inquietante.»
«De una narración ensombrecida por el terror surgen percepciones deslumbrantes, imágenes de brillante intensidad y sarcástico ingenio.»
One of Margaret Atwood’s most unforgettable characters lurks at the center of this intricate novel like a spider in a web. The glamorous, irresistible, unscrupulous Zenia is nothing less than a fairy-tale villain in the memories of her former friends. Roz, Charis, and Tony—university classmates decades ago—were reunited at Zenia’s funeral and have met monthly for lunch ever since, obsessively retracing the destructive swath she once cut through their lives. A brilliantly inventive fabulist, Zenia had a talent for exploiting her friends’ weaknesses, wielding intimacy as a weapon and cheating them of money, time, sympathy, and men. But one day, five years after her funeral, they are shocked to catch sight of Zenia: even her death appears to have been yet another fiction. As the three women plot to confront their larger-than-life nemesis, Atwood proves herself a gleefully acute observer of the treacherous shoals of friendship, trust, desire, and power.
Cat’s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman—but above all she must seek release form her haunting memories. Disturbing, humorous, and compassionate—and a finalist for the Booker Prize—Cat’s Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knot of her life.
As portrayed in Homer's Odyssey, Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - has become a symbol of wifely duty and devotion, enduring twenty years of waiting when her husband goes to fight in the Trojan War. As she fends off the attentions of a hundred greedy suitors, travelling minstrels regale her with news of Odysseus' epic adventures around the Mediterranean - slaying monsters and grappling with amorous goddesses. When Odysseus finally comes home, he kills her suitors and then, in an act that served as little more than a footnote in Homer's original story, inexplicably hangs Penelope's twelve maids.
Now, Penelope and her chorus of wronged maids tell their side of the story in a new stage version by Margaret Atwood, adapted from her own wry, witty and wise novel.
The Penelopiad premiered with the Royal Shakespeare Company in association with Canada's National Arts Centre at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in July 2007.