Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has just published The Testaments, the sequel to her 1985 classic The Handmaid’s Tale, to great acclaim- including a nomination for the Booker Prize before it even arrived in the shops!
We went to the Bridgeway in Northcote to see the English National Theatre film of an interview with Margaret Atwood , and well-known women reading as characters from the book. (The film was shown within a 24 -hour period in 1300 cinemas around the world!)
Broadcaster Samira Ahmed interviewed Atwood on the National Theatre’s Lyttleton stage, and they were joined by Lily James, Sally Hawkins and Ann Dowd, who played Aunt Lydia in the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale.
What struck us most about the interview was Margaret Atwood’s extraordinary range of reading , especially in history and theology, and her wry sense of humour – in addition to her ability to create imaginative visions of a hideous world for women as it could so easily become – and already is, in some places.
We need prophets who can remind us of the past, predict outcomes , and paint pictures for us, to help us stay committed to the ongoing struggles in our own country for equality, inclusiveness and especially kindness. And Margaret Atwood is one of the most compelling prophets we have.