Time for another installment of my favourite authors! Margaret Atwood is a prolific Canadian icon and has written a long list of wonderful novels, along with other excellent works including non-fiction, poetry, short stories, etc. I’ve managed to make my way through a pretty decent chunk of her considerable body of work and I’ve loved so much of her writing, particularly the speculative fiction. Here’s a list of my top 10 Atwood (in no particular order):
- The Edible Woman
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- The Year of the Flood
- Oryx and Crake
- The Tent
- In Other Worlds
- The Heart Goes Last
My top three would definitely include The Handmade’s Tale, The Year of the Flood, and The Edible Woman.
The Edible Woman: Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancee and quietly awaits marriage. But she didn’t count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can’t stomach … The Edible Woman is a funny, engaging novel about emotional cannibalism, men and women, and the desire to be consumed. (Goodreads)
The Year of the Flood: “The Year of the Flood” is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to Margaret Atwood’s visionary power.
The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners–a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life–has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God’s Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible.
Have others survived? Ren’s bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers…
Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo’hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can’t stay locked away…
By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, “The Year of the Flood” is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive. (Goodreads)
The Handmade’s Tale: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now… (Goodreads)
I’ve also enjoyed collecting my favourite editions of her books (they are always available thrift) and have gathered a few with cover art that I really like. I love the old vintage style covers for Lady Oracle, The Edible Woman, and Bluebeard’s Egg (above). I also really dig the newer style graphics on Hag-Seed and The Tent (below).
My tiny Atwood collection (I think 28 books currently). She’s almost got a shelf all to herself!
And of course I love the cover for Morning in the Burned House, it has a fox on it ❤