Q&A with Margaret Atwood discussion

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Oryx & Crake/TYOTF/MaddAdam

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message 1: by Kate (last edited Sep 24, 2010 02:39AM) (new)

Kate Bellew (katebellew) | 5 comments Dear Margaret,

I was just curious as to whether, while writing Oryx and Crake, you had TYOTF in mind? Did you write Oryx and Crake with the intention of writing a parallel novel later? They just fit together so well, it's hard to read them and not think that you had the whole story worked out from the beginning (even the night club bass heard by Snowman is accounted for!). And the same question applies to your novel-in-the-making, MaddAdam.

I've often read that you don't consider your work to be Science Fiction, but rather Speculative Fiction, and I know there is another topic on that issue so I won't ask about it further (or perhaps I don't wish to insult my favourite author with my arguments!). However, I did want to thank you, because whatever kind of SF you write, your novels, especially The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, introduced me (being of the younger generation) to the wonderful world of dystopic fiction.

Speaking of The Handmaid's Tale, I have to ask, is the impending demise of human civilisation as we know it a recurring thought for you? Both Oryx and Crake and The Handmaid's Tale are so wonderful in their own right, and I just love how different they are, but ultimately they are a result of human failings (or perhaps successes if you take a different standpoint). Is this how you see humanity playing itself through, or is the idea just a topic of interest for you?

There are a thousand things I'd love to say, and even more questions I'd love to ask, but I'm having too much fun reading the rest of the posts, so I'll simply leave with a thank you for the wonderful work and inspiration. You make reading a joy, and writing a dream.

Cheers,

Katey.


message 2: by Janice (new)

Janice I have read Margaret Atwood's books since the 1970's and have always enjoyed them immensely. I just started listening to TYOTF, and I love the songs!!! What a great addition to this story.


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine I hear that listening to TYOTF is the way to go. The songs are supposed to be beautiful. I have the book but I think I may get the audiobook from the library. Its sitting on the shelf waiting for me to come get it. :)


message 4: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1 comments Kate wrote: "Dear Margaret,

I was just curious as to whether, while writing Oryx and Crake, you had TYOTF in mind? Did you write Oryx and Crake with the intention of writing a parallel novel later? They just f..."


Interesting, isn't it? I'm wondering if The Year of the Flood was part backstory that grew legs and begged to be written. Having just finished The Year of the Flood I'm dying to read Oryx and Crake again, better put it back in the huge bookpile.

Thankyou, Margaret.


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Christine wrote: "I hear that listening to TYOTF is the way to go. The songs are supposed to be beautiful. I have the book but I think I may get the audiobook from the library. Its sitting on the shelf waiting fo..."

Ooh! I listened to YOTF! It was an excellent experience - probably the best audiobook I've ever listened to. Bringing the songs to life helped to bring the story to life.

I didn't realise Oryx and Krake was perhaps supposed to be read first though, but perhaps it doesn't matter. I certainly didn't feel like I was missing anything.


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine I don't think you needed to read Oryx and Crake first. I think they are companion books. I loved the way Atwood wove the books together. I am so looking forward to MaddAdam.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Christine, I loved that about the books to!
I read O&C first and then TYOTF and its not like you had to read the one before the other, if you read them indivisually you'd still get the idea and picture of what Margaret was trying to get at...

I cant wait for more books on this topic


message 8: by Letizia (new)

Letizia (camilaletizia) | 5 comments I loved to read The Year of the Flood! It was actually choosen to be taught during a semester in my english class; there was the first time I meet Atwood´s novels. The professor choose this book intentionally because it covered many topics where we chose one and present it. For instance I did it about organic food; I even changed my habits for 6 months to test some ´organic´ products with my body. It was an amazing experience that I still keedp some of those habits! Like eating as much fruits & vegetables (organic) and try to find ´natural´ makeup or personal utensils- in this case shampoo or soap. I have read twice this book and love it even more. I recently bought O&C and I hightly believe is going to be as amazing as the other. What I liked about TYOTF were the gardern´s poems. Very interesting..well the whole book was already pretty interesting. It was also my first time to learn what the word ´dystopian´ means and why Margaret Atwood´s novels were described as dystopian.


message 9: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) I just read MaddAdam and liked it least of the trilogy.

I read YOTF first, then O&C. I didn't realize until only recently that they take place during the same time period, they're just different parts of the same story--or am I wrong? Does anyone know if that is correct? Now I can't remember why I think this, or where I heard it.


message 10: by xenu01 (last edited May 30, 2014 12:08PM) (new)

xenu01 I really really really love Atwood and I think her writing lives in the realm of the sublime, so it is really hard for me to write this, but I was bothered by race in these books. Gangs composed of people of color name themselves after food styles, and white ones at that (Tex Mex, Asian Fusion).

Toby and Ren and Amanda were refreshing and wonderful. I was upset that Oryx did not get the same treatment as say, Amanda, that is: rescued from Jimmy's sludgy brain and resuscitated as a whole human. She remains elusive. We never even learn her real name, although we get to know Crake some more in MaddAdam. Even Pilar ends up getting a back story. But Oryx...? Further, I was a bit bothered that Rebecca, in addition to being the only (? Right? Did I miss another?) black woman in the group, seemingly has no hopes, dreams or desires beyond cooking for everyone. I mean, I wanted HER to get a boyfriend or a girlfriend or both and have some drama and get more of a back story than "worked with Toby."

I suppose this isn't a question, and I am really hoping not to have offended Ms. Atwood, but I needed to say it.


message 11: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth I haven't read your books for many years but won a free (signed) copy of MaddAdam. I decided to read the entire trilogy and could not put the books down. Six months later, every time I hear or read a strange news story that is really horrifying, but which is about events that are actually happening (extreme acts of violence against women, stories about pigs, paranoia, mixing of animal genes for example) I think of what lies ahead for us in the future. Sometimes this even happens when I make a cup of coffee! Thank you for the excellent thought provoking series.


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