Every Sunday I will be recommending a work of fiction or non-fiction written by a woman who has influenced and shaped my intersectional feminist perspective, with special emphasis on women of colour, women in translation, LGBTQ+ women and women of different religions.
Will this be a painful story? It’s likely: most stories about the past have an element of pain in them, now that the past has been ruptured so violently, so irreparably.MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood’s speculative fiction trilogy, MaddAddam, is a terrifying delve into a semi-realistic future dystopian. What makes this ‘dystopian-esque’ fiction different from her most famous piece of work, The Handmaid’s Tale, is that Atwood is speculating on what would happen if we continued exploring genetics and science to extremes and the power science has in a consumerist world. However, both novels explore the potentially catastrophic effects of what happens when those with power lose control.
Although this ‘speculative fiction’ may seem far-fetched at times, there are some elements to this world Atwood has created that eerily reflects our own – or one we can easily imagine. Around the world, demand is increasingly exceeding supply and much of the food that is prevalent in the novel is genetically modified or ‘fake’. Not only does this reflect the GM foods that are in wide supply today but it also reminded me of numerous news articles where scientists have created ‘meat’ from muscle stem cells.
Each book in the MaddAddam trilogy centres around different characters. From Jimmy and Glen in Oryx and Crake, to Toby and Ren from the God’s Gardener’s – an eco-religious sect – in The Year of the Flood, and Toby again in MaddAddam. Dissecting themes of technology, science, consumerism, and environmentalism, Atwood’s trilogy will remain relevant for decades to come.
Margaret Atwood is a Canadian writer, poet and essayist. She has published numerous novels which have also been adapted for the TV. Her MaddAddam trilogy consists of Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009) and MaddAddam (2013).