♦ ♦ ♦
Monday, July 15 – Saturday, July 20
Enjoy some good summer reading.
♦ ♦ ♦
“He doesn’t know which is worse, a past he can’t regain or a present that will destroy him if he looks at it too clearly. Then there’s the future. Sheer vertigo.”
The creative and gifted mind of Canadian author Margaret Atwood unleashes itself yet again in the dystopian novel, Oryx and Crake. Written in 2003, it is the first in a trilogy in which Atwood takes us on a speculative journey into the future. The story begins after a plague destroys civilization. The main protagonist, Snowman (formerly “Jimmy” before the world collapsed), struggles with surviving in a world where he may be the last living human and coping with grief (and memories) over the loss of his best friend Crake, and the beautiful, evanescent Oryx , whom they both loved and coveted. We learn more about Jimmy and his past, through flashbacks, and are drawn into his post-apocalyptic quest for answers. Guiding this solitary man through his journey are these human-like, green-eyed Children of Crake. As they travel through the wilderness which was once a great city, they see hybrid creatures (wolvogs, pigoons and rakunks) roaming the forest, and we later come to realize that these cross-species are the result of genetic engineering.
It would be remiss of me to reveal more. I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
I have read most of Atwood’s novels and this one roped me in from the get-go, and prompted me to read the second book (in the Oryx and Crake trilogy), called The Year of the Flood. Loved it. Her third installment, MaddAddam, will be released in early September (I’ve pre-ordered it).
Dystopian fiction is not for everyone. In fact, I was ambivalent about reading Oryx and Crake but I am glad that I did. It propelled me into a world of “what-if’s” – told by the award-winning storyteller par excellence, Margaret Atwood.
Other novels by Margaret Atwood:
- MaddAddam – third novel in Oryx and Crake trilogy (2013)
- The Year of the Flood – second novel in Oryx and Crake trilogy (2009)
- The Penelopiad (2005)
- The Blind Assassin (2000)
- Alias Grace (1996)
- The Robber Bride (1993) *
- Cat’s Eye (1988)
- The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) **
- Bodily Harm (1981)
- Life Before Man (1979)
- Lady Oracle (1976)
- Surfacing (1972) ***
- The Edible Woman (1969)
* adapted into a TV movie (2007, USA) by the same name; directed by David Evans and starring Mary-Louise Parker, Shawn Doyle and Susan Lynch
** adapted into a film (1990, USA) by the same name; directed by Volker Schlöndorff and starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway and Aidan Quinn
*** adapted into a film (1981, Canada) by the same name; directed by Claude Jutra
In addition, she has written a large body of work: children’s books, short fiction, poetry, anthologies, television scripts, E-books, and non-fiction.