October 23, 2012 |
It's fair to say that Margaret Atwood is ahead of the curve. In her classic dystopia "The Handmaid's Tale," she envisioned a world that politicized women's bodies and baby-making in strange, explicit ways. That book, published in 1985, has become eerily resonant this year during American political discussions dealing with women's issues . As grim as that vision might be, Atwood is full of cheer, seeing the humor in the darkest situations. She tells us, in this video interview, that she's not alone; even Kafka laughed while writing his tales of desperation.
October 19, 2012 |
Please join us for a special video conversation with Margaret Atwood on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Pacific time. Atwood has combined speculative fiction and politics -- feminism, environmentalism -- in stories that have been funny, frightening, and even prescient in books like "The Handmaid's Tale" and "The Year of the Flood. " Although Atwood is 72, she has been quick to embrace many of the new forms of storytelling enabled by technology and the Internet -- before many decades-younger novelists.
October 15, 2012 |
What do Keith Richards and Margaret Atwood have in common? Machine-generated signatures, if one fan's investigation into her signed copy of Richard's "Life" is correct. A fan who purchased an autographed copy of Richard's memoir has posted that the book was signed using an Autopen , not by the musician himself, Spinner reports. The fan writes that document examiners using "high powered magnification" concluded it was an Autopen signature due to "size, spacing, pen pressure, ink flow, etc. " The Autopen website boasts its machines "provide high quality signature replication with any common pen, pencil, or marker.
November 27, 2011 |
In Other Worlds SF and the Human Imagination Margaret Atwood Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: 259 pp., $24.95 Great fiction writers are usually better at showing than at telling. Sometimes, though, the job of explaining their creative choices is thrust on them by critics and others contributing to the daily cultural chatter. Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood rises to the challenge in her new book, "In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination," in which she describes her lifelong relationship with the writerly worlds of fantasy and science fiction.
October 30, 2011 |
Born more than 2,000 years ago, the Roman poet Lucretius really belongs to our day. How's that? Well, when you look closely at his great work, "On the Nature of Things" (W.W. Norton: 177 pp., $15.95 paper), you find him writing about a world that sounds much like our own. There he speaks of tiny, indivisible bits called atoms ("all/are sundered into particles of matter") and something that even sounds like a description of DNA ("each thing has but one substance/marked and designed to bring it into being")
September 27, 2009 |
The Year of the Flood A Novel Margaret Atwood Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: 434 pp., $26.95 Lady Oracle has been quiet the last six years. Yes, there have been half a dozen books, an opera even. But no novels, and it is in her novels that Margaret Atwood spins the most arresting alternate mythologies to our hell-bent world. From 1972's "Surfacing," a virtuoso rewriting of the Demeter myth, to "The Handmaid's Tale," with its baroquely imagined future in which women are slaves, Atwood's best books are dream capsules in which greed, destructive anti-environmentalism, religious fundamentalism and the constant desire to subject the will of women combine into a proto-fascist force.
March 2, 2008 |
You can't listen to what people tell you. Years ago I was asked by an agent to read a series of articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer by a young journalist named Mark Bowden. I read them and thought they were absolutely stunning. They became the book "Black Hawk Down." It was the first real explanation I had ever read of modern warfare. But Bowden was not a well-known writer, and this was a subject not a lot of people were interested in. I knew it would be hard to sell it. I took it out to a list of producers.
March 3, 2007 |
The first thing to say about "The Robber Bride" -- a Canadian-British co-production airing domestically tonight as "Oxygen's newest original film" -- is that it's based on a novel by Margaret Atwood, a literary icon not merely north of the border. The second, more locally important point, is that it stars Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds"), who gives the film a little semi-big-name American heat and Parker fans another chance to watch her do that thing she does.