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....
"A great book to listen to :)"
Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, the preservation of all species and the tending of the Earth - has long predicted the Waterless Flood. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have avoided it: the young trapeze-dancer, Ren, locked into the high-end sex club; and former SecretBurgers meat-slinger turned Gardener, Toby, barricaded into a luxurious spa. Have others survived?
"Floated my boat"
A man-made plague has swept the Earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers - a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans. Toby, one-time member of the Gods Gardeners and expert in mushrooms and bees, is still in love with street-smart Zeb, who has an interesting past. The Crakers' reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is hallucinating; Amanda is in shock from a Painballer attack; and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox, who is flirting with Zeb.
Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride is inspired by The Robber Bridegroom, a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends.
Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancé 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 desire to be consumed.
Margaret Atwood's classic novel, The Handmaid's Tale, is about the future. Now, in Oryx and Crake, the future has changed: it's much worse. The narrator of this riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he's sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death.
Sixteen years have passed since Grace was locked up, at the age of 16, for the cold-blooded murders of her employer and his housekeeper/lover. Her alleged accomplice in the crimes, James McDermot, paid the extreme sentence of the law and was hanged on November 21, 1843. But some thought Grace was innocent, and her sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment. After a spell in the Lunatic Asylum she now claims to have no memory of the murders.
"Gripping and mesmerising"
A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy. Vintage Atwood creativity, intelligence, and humor: think Alias Grace. Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace.
Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood - unbearable betrayals and cruelties - surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for 40 years. An exceptional novel from the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize.
"such a great listen"
From fat girl to thin, from red hair to mud brown, from London to Toronto, from Polish count to radical husband - Joan Foster is utterly confused by her life of multiple identities. She decides to escape to an Italian hill town to take stock of her life. But first, she must organise her own death.
A man finds himself surrounded by women who are becoming palel, 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...
"spare and sophisticated"
Even now, at the age of 82, Iris lives in the shadow cast by her younger sister Laura. Now poor and trying to cope with a failing body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death.
Nominated for the Man Booker International Prize, 2007.Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at 18 to a politically prominent industrialist but now poor and 82, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While bewailing her unreliable body and deriding those who try to help her, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life and her perilous times, but in particular on the events surrounding her sister's tragic early death.
In each of these tales Margaret Atwood deftly illuminates the single instant that shapes a whole life: in a few brief pages we watch as characters progress from the vulnerabilities of adolescence through the passions of youth into the precarious complexities of middle age. By superimposing the past on the present, Atwood paints interior landscapes shaped by time, regret, and life's lost chances, endowing even the banal with a sense of mystery.
Hailed as a "pithy and compelling account of an intensely relevant topic" (Kirkus Reviews), this wide-ranging volume offers a superb account of a key moment in modern U.S. and world history. Drawing upon the latest research in archives in China, Russia, and Vietnam, Mark Lawrence creates an extraordinary, panoramic view of all sides of the war.
"A factual unsanitised take on history"
Rennie Wilford, a young jounalist running from her life, takes an assignment to a Caribbean island and tumbles into a world where no one is what they seem. When the burnt-out Yankee Paul (does he smuggle dope or hustle for the CIA?) offers her a no-hooks, no strings affair, she is caught up in a lethal web of corruption.
Locked up at the age of 16 for the bloody murders of her employer and his housekeeper, Grace Marks was lucky not to have been hung. But the questions remain: innocent or guilty, instigator or innocent dupe? Sixteen years later, Dr Simon Jordan, an expert in amnesia, is given access to Grace, who now spends most of her days as a servant in the home of the prison Governor, befriended by the Governor's wife who believes in her innocence.
Her men and women still miscommunicate, still remain separate in different rooms, different houses, or even different worlds. With brilliant flashes of fantasy, humour, and unexpected violence, the stories reveal the complexities of human relationships and bring to life characters who touch us deeply, evoking terror and laughter, compassion and recognition - and dramatically demonstrate why Margaret Atwood is one of the most important writers in English today.
"Brilliant and satisfying"
Most kids write stories. Only a few of them grow up to be successful authors. But before there was Carrie, there was Jhonathan and the Witchs. And before there was Rabbit Angstrom, Toyota Dealer, there was Manuel Cirarro, famous detective. Could we have seen the seeds of success in Stephen King's and John Updike's juvenilia? A funny and surprisingly informative gathering of childhood creations by today's most celebrated writers.
A look back at some of the past year's conversations with authors: Margaret Atwood; E.L. Doctorow; George Saunders; and Ian McEwan.