Margaret Atwood: The Testaments (2019)

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jserraglio
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Margaret Atwood: The Testaments (2019)

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:06 am

First novel I've read by Atwood since The Penelopiad (2005). I had never absorbed The Handmaid's Tale (1985) with any specificity but now will do so since the two narratives are connected.

Atwood invents Gilead, an obviously post-Trumpian American dystopia in which democracy has given way to totalitarianism, Canada is the last bastion of the Free World, women are the main target of oppression, a character named Aunt Lydia, posing as one of Gilead's most esteemed members of a quasi-religious nunnery of oppressors, writes a subversive analogue to Newman's "Apologia pro vita mea" and a fictional Underground FemaleRoad spirits women back and forth across a porous border between Canada and New England. Two other narratives are interleaved with that of Aunt Lydia, a homage perhaps to the journalistic origins of the novel in Richardson and Defoe.

And, "God be praised", Ms. Atwood's mordant wit is fully on display throughout:
so if women were now the enemy I could see why they might have been targeted . . . All that was necessary was a law degree and a uterus: a lethal combination.

Belle
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: Margaret Atwood: The Testaments (2019)

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:28 am

I can't stand this author and taught some of her short stories in high school. She should have just written complaint rock and spared us all her politically correct tomes. Sad, bitter woman.

jserraglio
Posts: 5970
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Margaret Atwood: The Testaments (2019)

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:11 am

Belle wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:28 am
I can't stand this author and taught some of her short stories in high school. She should have just written complaint rock and spared us all her politically correct tomes. Sad, bitter woman.
i beg to differ. No surprise there.

Just finished The Handmaid's Tale yesterday and have started Blind Assassin. Atwood's a first-class writer and her works address important moral issues. Her latest novel, The Testaments, is well worth a look for readers who wish to get their heads around contemporary dystopia.

Belle
Posts: 2414
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: Margaret Atwood: The Testaments (2019)

Post by Belle » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:00 pm

I'm over 'moral issues' in fiction because I find I don't just share the ideologies of a lot of modern writers. Enjoy your reading anyway!

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