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Margaret Atwood Will Make You Afraid Of Her Tomorrow

Novelist Margaret Atwood is back with her end of the world trilogy and a new human race.

Canadian novelist and poet Margaret Atwood is out with a new novel in her dystopian trilogy about a future world gone wrong. (Jean Malek)

Canadian novelist and poet Margaret Atwood is out with a new novel in her dystopian trilogy about a future world gone wrong. (Jean Malek)

Margaret Atwood writes “speculative fiction” — but don’t call it science fiction, she says.  It could all happen.  And maybe it is.  Her latest novel is the culmination of a mind-bending trilogy story of the end of the world that seems all too hideously possible.  The world, debauched and wrecked by human over-reach.  A designer plague has wiped out almost all of old humanity.  Gene-altered pigs and a successor race of leaf-eating humanoids are all over.  A new Genesis story is unfolding.  For a new world.  Up next On Point:  novelist Margaret Atwood, and after us.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Margaret Atwood, author, essayist, poet and activist, author of the new novel, “MaddAddam.” (@MargaretAtwood)

From Tom’s Reading List

NPRAtwood Imagines Humanity’s Next Iteration In ‘MaddAddam’ — “Like Year of the FloodMaddAddam deals with the question of how to rebuild a better civilization in the ashes of what came before. In Year, we met the Gardeners, a group of eco-spiritualists who practice a kind of environmental animism. Now, in MaddAddam, we discover that the Gardeners are among the only survivors of the pandemic — partly because their religion taught them survival skills, and partly because many of them worked with Crake on the destruction of humanity.”

New York Times: Strange New World — “Fatefulness about the survival of the species is not new. Religious thinking has end-time built in, and for most of our sentient life on the planet human­kind has been predominantly religious. That has changed in Westernized countries, but only relatively recently, and alongside advances in scientific knowledge. Our new pessimism no longer depends on a deity to wipe out this wicked world. Since the Manhattan Project, we have learned how to do it ourselves.”

New York Review of Books: Margaret Atwood’s Tale — “Margaret Atwood has an international reputation that differs considerably from her reputation in her native Canada, where she became, virtually overnight in 1972, at the age of thirty-three, the most celebrated and controversial Canadian writer of the era. The daughter of an entomologist at the University of Toronto, with a master’s degree in Victorian literature from Harvard (1962), Atwood would seem to have an instinct for taxonomy; for the casting of a cold but not unsympathetic eye upon the strategies by which individuals present themselves to others in order to confirm their identity or, simply, like the desperate captive in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ her most widely read novel, to survive.”

Read an Excerpt of “MaddAddam” by Margaret Atwood

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Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

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The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

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