Reading suggestion: Margaret Atwood

18th March 2024

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Mierscher Lieshaus

Margaret Eleanor Atwood was born on November 18, 1939 and is a Canadian writer and activist. In addition to several books, she has also published poetry, short stories and essays. Her first book, “The Edible Woman” appeared in 1969. The main themes in her works are feminism, environmentalism and the dangers of ideology.

Among the many awards she has won are the Booker Prize in 2000 and 2019, the international Franz Kafka Prize in 2017 and the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987 for her book “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a dystopian story about a theocratic government that has taken over the USA. The foundations of this new country, Gilead, are a strictly religious regime and the disempowerment of women. The main character, Offred, struggles with the oppression and control that are now part of her everyday life.

In an interview, Margaret Atwood said that “she modeled “The Handmaid’s Tale” after some works of dystopian literature that gripped her at a young age in the 1950s and ‘60s, including George Orwell’s “1984,” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” “

“The Testaments”, the sequel, was published in 2019, telling the story of three women, 15 years after the events of “The Handmais’s Tale”.

The film adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale” came out in 1990, and a series with five seasons followed in 2017.

Both books, as well as many of her other bestsellers, can be found in English, French and German at the Mierscher Lieshaus.