Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021 (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
In this brilliant selection of essays, the award-winning, best-selling author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments offers her funny, erudite, endlessly curious, and uncannily prescient take on everything from whether or not The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopia to the importance of how to define granola—and seeks answers to Burning Questions such as...
• Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories? Including thoughts on the writing of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, Oryx & Crake, and her other beloved works.
• How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating?
• How can we live on our planet?
• Is it true? And is it fair?
• What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism?
In more than fifty pieces, Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humor at the world, and reports back to us on what she finds. This roller-coaster period brought the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump, and a pandemic. From when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to Atwood’s views on the climate crisis, we have no better guide to the many and varied mysteries of our universe.
About the Author
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and won the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry for a decade.
Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
"[Burning Questions] reflects both the urgency of the issues dear to her—literature, feminism, the environment, human rights—and their combustibility...The book’s scope and the perspicacity of her writing evince the reading and thinking of a long life well lived."
"Inspiring...Always in demand for her keen perception and bewitching storytelling, Atwood presents witty, parrying, and complexly illuminating tales about her long, ever-vital writing life."
"This collection is marked both by her ongoing concern with the ethical and moral issues her fiction raises and an appealing flexibility in terms of subject matter...Smart and concerned essays and arguments from an author whose global concerns haven’t flagged."
“Canadian poet, novelist and literary critic Margaret Atwood’s diverse and intense interests in subjects from feminism to climate change are on full display in her latest book."
"Atwood’s writing voice is both accessible and compelling: she invites you in, and you want to keep reading...Despite the difficult truths told across these many pages, there is humor here and there is hope...This collection clearly shows what many of us already know, Atwood is one of our greatest writers, and although she claims to not be prophetic (ha!), we should all pay attention to what she’s saying."
—The Brooklyn Rail
Praise for Margaret Atwood
“Margaret Atwood [is] a living legend.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“One of the most admired practitioners of the novel in North America.”
—Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune
"Brilliant...Atwood is a poet....as well as a contriver of fiction, and scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work, adding to a picture that becomes enormous."
—The New Yorker
“There may be no novelist better suited to tapping the current era’s anxieties than Margaret Atwood.”