October Book of the Month: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The best dystopias hold up warped mirrors to our own society, and no living writer is better at creating these grotesque yet terrifyingly recognizable worlds than Margaret Atwood. Over her exceptional career, spanning 40 books and almost 50 years, she has returned repeatedly to themes of totalitarianism, environmental destruction, sexual politics and economic failure, tackling them all with piercing intelligent and whip-smart wit.

The Heart Goes Last is set in a future world not unlike some modern-day cities: ruined, lawless and habitable only by those who've turned to crime. Stan and Charmaine used to have a regular life; now they live in their car, existing on scraps and cheap doughnuts. So it is that when they see an advert for the Positron Project, offering a job and a home on the agreement that, once a month, they will give up their freedom and spend time in a prison cell, they sign up - despite their niggling anxiety that there must, somewhere, be a catch.  

The plot becomes increasingly circus-like, involving Elvis sex-bots, eugenics, mind-control and some strange knitted teddies, but the remarkable truth is that it all seems entirely possible. With boundless imagination and a sharp eye for modern social failures, Atwood has crafted a sinister, intriguing story with perfect comic timing.

 About the Author

Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939. Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards and honourary degrees, including the Man Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin. 

She has written poetry, children's literature and non-fiction, but is known across the globe for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her work has been published in more than 40 languages. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. 

Webchat with Margaret Atwood

We are honoured and delighted that Margaret Atwood will be joining us in late October (date tbc) for a webchat to discuss The Heart Goes Last, her many award-winning novels and her writing life. Feel free to discuss the book on the thread throughout the month and then come and put your questions to Margaret on the night.

Book giveaway

Bloomsbury have 50 copies of The Heart Goes Last to give away: to apply for your free copy please fill in your details below. Don't forget, if you receive a free copy of this book, we kindly ask you to write a review for us in our book reviews section or tell us your thoughts on the discussion thread.

This giveaway is sponsored by Bloomsbury



Last updated: over 2 years ago