I heard a fantastic interview with Margaret Atwood on the radio this morning (or, well, most of an interview…I had to make myself get out of the car to get the boy a flu shot). She’s on tour for her new book, The Year of the Flood. I’m a huge Atwood fan, so I’m eager to read it…but man does it sound creepy, in a futuristic sort of way. From the web site:
Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners – a religion devoted to the melding of science, religion, and nature – has long predicted a disaster. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women remain: Ren, a young dancer locked away in a high-end sex club, and Toby, a former God’s Gardener, who barricades herself inside a luxurious spa. Have others survived? Ren’s bio-artist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers? Not to mention the CorpSeCorps, the shadowy policing force of the ruling powers… As Adam One and his beleaguered followers regroup, Ren and Toby emerge into an altered world, where nothing – including the animal life – is predictable.
Atwood described cyborg-insects and genetically crossed creatures in the part of the interview I heard, which piqued my interest. She seemed almost lost in the world she’d created. I got Handmaid’s Tale flashbacks, which isn’t a bad thing. In fact, after hearing Atwood discuss Handmaid’s Tale a bit in the interview this morning, I thought about reading that book again. It’s been since high school, ahem, a long time ago.
Anyway, The Year of the Flood has a couple of interesting marketing moves going on. First, there’s an accompanying music CD, Hymns of the God’s Gardeners, and second, Atwood is doing a “green” tour. In the interview she details how green, including the organic shade-grown coffee she demands/drinks/carries with her (there’s a relationship between coffee growing and songbird habitat), how she and her handlers travel by train whenever possible, and how they are buying carbon offsets for the whole tour. (Does this sell books? I’d love to know.)
In any case, I’m looking forward to reading this. If you have a chance, check out the interview.