“We can’t live without it, so maybe we should start respecting it. This beautifully designed book by a limnologist looks at water from 12 different angles, from life and motion and vibration to beauty and prayer.”
—Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmentalist. She won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature as well as the Booker Prize (several times) and the Governor General’s Award. Animals and the environment feature in many of her books, particularly her speculative fiction, which reflects a strong view on environmental issues.
Several of her latest works (e.g., Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood, MaddAddam) are eco-fiction and may be considered climate fiction. Atwood and partner, novelist Graeme Gibson, are the joint honorary presidents of the Rare Bird Club within BirdLife International. Atwood’s highly popular graphic novel Angel Catbird reflects an environmental sensitivity to the balance between wildlife and humans and their pets in urban settings.
Atwood’s application of sharp vision in her speculative fiction is best represented by her dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”, currently a TV series. Set in the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America, the novel explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain individualism and independence. The Handmaid’s Tale won the 1985 Governor General’s Award and the first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987; it was also nominated for the 1986 Nebula Award, the 1986 Booker Prize, and the 1987 Prometheus Award. The book was adapted into a film (1990), an opera (2000), a TV series (2017), and other media.
Atwood made “Water Is…” her first choice of four books she recommended from 2016 in The New York Times ‘The Year in Reading‘ for 2016.