Burning Questions

Burning Questions

Essays and Occasional Pieces 2004–2021


Brought to you by Penguin.

From cultural icon Margaret Atwood comes a brilliant collection of essays -- funny, erudite, endlessly curious, uncannily prescient -- which seek answers to Burning Questions such as:

Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories?
How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating?
How can we live on our planet?
Is it true? And is it fair?
What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism?

In over fifty pieces Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humour at the world, and reports back to us on what she finds. This roller-coaster period brought the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. From debt to tech, the climate crisis to freedom; from when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to how to define granola, we have no better guide to the many and varied mysteries of our universe.

Read by: Amanda Cordner, Amelia Sargisson, Ann Dowd, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Becky Hardie, Ciarán Hinds, Claudia Dey, Damian Rogers, Dr. Asha de Vos, Dr. Vincent Lam, Esi Edugya, Georgia Toews, Heather O'Neill, Ian Davidson, Kaniehtiio Horn, Katie Ryerson, Kelly McCormack, Lee Boudreaux, Lorna Crozier, Margaret Atwood, Marie Henein, Megan Follows, Naomi Alderman, Omar El-Akkad, Patricia Zurita, R.H. Thomson, Rebecca Liddiard, Robyn Doolittle, Stephanie Belding, Stephen Ouimette, Tess Degenstein, Tiffany Ayalik, Tomson Highway, Tori Dunlap, Yasmeen Hassan, Yvonne Boyer

© Margaret Atwood 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022


  • This isn't just a collection of essays for Atwood fans. Rather, this is an attempt to make sense of the world, taking in with characteristic verve everything from Anne of Green Gables to Donald Trump, zombies to censorship . . . While the tone skates from surreal off-kilter wit to impassioned gravity, Atwood always makes the idea of big questions a little more digestible . . . The collection is polyphonic, enthusiastic, illuminating
    Sophie Macintosh, i News

About the author

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, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and shared the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry for a decade; in 2022 Burning Questions, a selection of essays, was a Sunday Times bestseller; and in 2023, Old Babes in the Wood, a volume of short stories, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller. Atwood is a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, and has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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