For decades, revolutionary novelist, essayist and poet Margaret Atwood has observed the world around her and drawn startling conclusions on issues such as climate change, tyranny and women’s rights. She has collected fifty of those essays in an essential new volume published by Doubleday on March 1, 2022. Burning questions– whose Oprah Daily coverage reveals exclusively here – offers a strangely premonitory, scholarly and alternately funny and terrifying commentary on the geopolitical, human rights and environmental crises that the 81-year-old author has studied all his life.
Burning questions also provides an intimate look at Atwood’s literary process. On the one hand, we learn in the introduction to the book that after having had the original idea of The Handmaid’s Tale, she delayed writing for several years, deeming the plot “too far-fetched”. She contemplates the work of other artists and writers, and considers the thin line between science fiction and reality. She mourns the death in 2019 of her longtime partner, Graeme Gibson, and ponders existential questions such as “How much of yourself can you give without evaporating?” “
Divided into five parts, From the Aftermath of September 11 to “The Strange Land of Post-Truth … exposes and highlights all the ways we are rushing towards disaster, and how we could have followed the breadcrumbs and all. see it coming. Atwood’s book editor Lee Boudreaux said this about his work on the project with Atwood: “Touching everything from the role of the writer to the future of the planet, Margaret Atwood once again demonstrates his visionary good faith, his passionate engagement with the world, and his capacity for both wonder and thoroughness on virtually any subject in the sun, from comics to Kafka.
On why she put the collection together, Atwood told Oprah Daily that “it’s been a wild ride so far, the 21st century. Many of the problems that had been simmering for decades have now caught fire. Unless we can answer them, quickly and efficiently, we will too. ” Burning questions is Atwood’s warning cry and challenge. In it, she writes: “Post-millennials will soon become positions of power. Hopefully they will use their power wisely. And soon.”
Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in over 45 countries, is the author of over 50 books of fiction, poetry, critical essays and graphic novels. His latest novel, Wills, is co-winner of the Booker Prize 2019. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning television series, her novels include Cat eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize 1989; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The blind assassin, winner of the Booker Prize 2000; Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2003; The year of the flood, MaddAddam; and Witch seed. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Los Angeles Times Innovator Award. In 2019, she was appointed member of the Order of Companions of Honor for services rendered to literature.
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