Well I had quite a literary day yesterday and this morning. I went to see Margaret Atwood talk about her new book Hagseed (a reworking of the Tempest – she calls it a reimagining.).
I don’t write this as a review so much as an homage.
I rate Margaret as one of the greatest living writers (along with the likes of Iain McEwan, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie and Kasuo Ishiguro) so it was a rare opportunity to see and hear a living legend.
She talked about the new book and the themes that were in it and urged us to watch the Helen Mirren film of the Tempest before reading the book – which I shall do.
She talked briefly about The Handmaid’s Tale and the way fundamentalists only want to ban the things people want to do. In this age of religious madness (hopefully its death-throes) I think it should be compulsory reading – if only to see the misogyny in religion.
She also talked about the death of the oceans, from which between 60% and 80% of all the world’s oxygen is made, and that the rich were probably at this minute constructing their underground homes with oxygen making facilities and looking forward to being rid of us all. (There’s a book in that!).
I shall watch the film and then read the book. It was a pleasure seeing a living legend.
Margaret was lucid and delightful.