Talking Scared

134 – Margaret Atwood & Hope in the Dystopia

March 14, 2023 Neil McRobert Episode 134
Talking Scared
134 – Margaret Atwood & Hope in the Dystopia
Show Notes

There is no cool and collected way to introduce this week’s episode. Our guest is Margaret Atwood.

Yes, that Margaret Atwood. The author of The Handmaid’s Tale. One of the few writer’s who genuinely deserves to be called an icon (though she may be tired of the term).  She published her first novel in 1969 and now as she enters her seventh decade of writing, her stories are no less challenging or surprising. 

Her new collection, Old Babes in the Wood is a feast of darkness and light. It swerves from myth to sci-fi, to body horror, all bookended by stories about love and loss and grief. And she came on this little show to talk about it.

We unveil the inspirations behind some of the stories. We talk about disease and dystopia through history, the dangers of Canadian wilderness, men who turn into bears, the relationship of horror and slapstick, and her own haunted house.

It was a privilege. 


Old Babes in the Wood was published by on March 7th by Vintage and Doubleday

Other books mentioned in this episode include:

  • Bunny (2019), by Mona Awad
  • Carmilla (1872), by Sheridan Le Fanu 
  • The Handmaids Tale (1984), by Margaret Atwood
  • Oryx and Crake (2003), by Margaret Atwood
  • Alias Grace (1996), by Margaret Atwood
  • Lady Oracle (1976), by Margaret Atwood
  • Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (1983), ed. Alberto Manguel
  • Dark Arrows: Chronicles of Revenge (1985), ed. Alberto Manguel
  • On Writing (2000), by Stephen King
  • The Death of Grass (1956), by John Christopher

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