Can we ever be wholly free? In this book of breathtaking imaginary leaps that conjure dystopias and magical islands, Margaret Atwood holds a mirror up to our own world. The reflection we are faced with, of men and women in prisons literal and metaphorical, is frightening, but it is also a call to arms to speak and to act to preserve our freedom while we still can. And in that, there is hope.
Selected from The Handmaid’s Tale and Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood.
VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.
A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human
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Selected as a Book of the Year – Observer, Sunday Times, Times, Guardian, New Statesman, i magazine
Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he’s staging a Tempest like no other. It will boost his reputation. It will heal emotional wounds.
Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. Also brewing revenge.
After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. It’s magic! But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall?
'The best science fiction book ever, definitely the most prescient... Looking at our present trajectory we are on the way to Brave New World' Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus
‘A masterpiece of speculation... As vibrant, fresh, and somehow shocking as it was when I first read it’ Margaret Atwood
A grave warning... Provoking, stimulating, shocking and dazzling' Observer
'What Aldous Huxley presented as fiction with the human hatcheries of Brave New World has become fact. The consequences are profound and, if we don't get it right, deeply disturbing' John Humphries, Sunday Times
WITH INTRODUCTIONS BY MARGARET ATWOOD AND DAVID BRADSHAW
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...
Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
A man finds himself surrounded by women who are becoming paler, more silent and literally smaller; a woman's intimate life is strangely dominated by the fear of nuclear warfare; a melancholy teenage love is swept away by a hurricane, while a tired, middle-aged affection is rekindled by the spectacle of rare Jamaican birds...
In these exceptional short stories, by turns funny and searingly honest, Margaret Atwood captures brilliantly the complex forces that govern our relationships, and the powerful emotions that guide them.
Students and journalists, farmers and birdwatchers, ex-wives, adolescent lovers - and dancing girls. All ordinary people - or are they? In this splendid collection of short stories, Margaret Atwood maps the human motivation we scarcely know we have in a startlingly original voice, full of rare intensity and exceptional intelligence.
With brilliant flashes of fantasy, humour and unexpected violence, these stories reveal the complexities of human relationships and bring to life characters who evoke laughter, compassion, terror and recognition and dramatically demonstrate why Atwood is one of the most important writers in English today.
Life Before Man explores the lives of three people imprisoned by walls of their own construction and in thrall to the tragicomedy we call love.
Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality and suppressed rage, has just lost her latest lover to suicide. Nate, her gentle, indecisive husband, is planning to leave her for Lesje, a perennial innocent who prefers dinosaurs to men. Hanging over them all is the ghost of Elizabeth's dead lover, and the dizzying threat of three lives careening inevitably towards the same climax.
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The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.
Margaret Atwood is Canada's most eminent novelist, poet and critic. She has been nominated for the Booker Prize on five occasions, winning in 2000 with The Blind Assassin.
Margaret Atwood is Canada's most eminent novelist, poet and critic. Her books include The Edible Woman, Surfacing, Lady Oracle, Life Before Man, Bodily Harm, The Handmaid's Tale (winner of both the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and the Governor-General's Award, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made in a major film). Cat's Eye (also shortlisted for the Booker Prize) The Robber Bride and Alias Grace. Finally, The Blind Assassin won the Booker Prize in 2000.