Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces 2004-2021 – Margaret Atwood
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From cultural icon Margaret Atwood comes a brilliant collection of essays -- funny, erudite, endlessly curious, uncannily prescient -- which seek answers to Burning Questions such as:
Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories?
How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating?
How can we live on our planet?
Is it true? And is it fair?
What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism?
In over fifty pieces Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humour at our world, and reports back to us on what she finds. The roller-coaster period covered in the collection brought an end to the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. From debt to tech, the climate crisis to freedom; from when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to how to define granola, we have no better questioner of the many and varied mysteries of our human universe.
'Brilliant and funny' Joan Didion
'She's taken our times and made us wise to them' Ali Smith
'Lights a fire from the fears of our age . . . Miraculously balances humor, outrage, and beauty' New York Times Book Review
'All over the reading world, the history books are being opened to the next blank page and Atwood's name is written at the top of it' Anne Enright, Guardian
'The outstanding novelist of our age' Sunday Times
** A 2022 Book to Look Forward To in The Times, i, Financial Times, Guardian, Evening Standard, New Statesman, Cosmopolitan and SheerLuxe **
Margaret Atwood was recently described in a Guardian interview as "arguably the most famous living literary novelist in the world", and she is undoubtedly the most venerable . . . It's fascinating to read Atwood's reflections on her own novels and their continued relevance . . . but equally striking to see how many pieces she has included here generously celebrating other writers -- Stephanie Merritt ― Observer
If there's one person in the world from whom you'd want a hot take on the most pressing issues, it would surely be Margaret Atwood . . . She answers our burning questions on climate change, the rise of Trump and on to debt and tech -- Joanna Taylor ― Evening Standard
With her bold imagination, calm insight, and wit, Atwood gathers diverse strands into a marvellous collection ranging from the history of forests to the nature of science fiction and beyond. Burning Questions is a delicious antidote to intellectual fragmentation that left me inspired -- Merlin Sheldrake, author of Entangled Life
I drank in the book this past weekend, in two warm slugs -- Jennifer Senior ― Atlantic
[Atwood's] intelligence shines off the page with such intensity it makes you blink -- Rose Shepherd ― Saga Magazine
The mighty Margaret Atwood writes about everything from granola to Trump -- Robbie Millen ― The Times, *Books to Look Out For 2022*
Atwood's third collection of essays...does not fail to impress... This is one to dip into again and again, and is likely to remain relevant many years into the future ― UK Press Syndication
Atwood...always...gets right to the heart of the matter... More than 50 pieces display her astonishing range... Each is written with her trademark wit -- Erica Wagner ― Harper's Bazaar
Atwood is generous and unguarded - exactly what you would hope of her... frank, honest and good company -- Shahidha Bari ― Guardian
About the Author
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid's Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and shared the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry for a decade.
Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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