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Friday, July 24, 2009

ARC Arrival: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

I actually got one of these from Doubleday through Shelf Awareness! I am very excited to get this one!

About the book: The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life -- has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible.

Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend, Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers.

Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can't stay locked away. . .

By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive. (from the back cover)

About the author: When Margaret Atwood announced to her friends that she wanted to be a writer, she was only 16 years old. It was Canada. It was the 1950s. No one knew what to think. Nonetheless, Atwood began her writing career as a poet. Published In 1964 while she was still a student at Harvard, her second poetry anthology, The Circle Game, was awarded the Governor General's Award, one of Canada's most esteemed literary prizes. Since then, Atwood has gone on to publish many more volumes of poetry (as well as literary criticism, essays, and short stories), but it is her novels for which she is best known.

Atwood's first foray into fiction was 1966's The Edible Woman, an arresting story about a woman who stops eating because she feels her life is consuming her. Grabbing the attention of critics, who applauded its startlingly original premise, the novel explored feminist themes Atwood has revisited time and time again during her long, prolific literary career. She is famous for strong, compelling female protagonists -- from the breast cancer survivor in Bodily Harm to the rueful artist in Cat's Eye to the fatefully intertwined sisters in her Booker Prize-winning novel The Blind Assassin.

Perhaps Atwood's most legendary character is Offred, the tragic "breeder" in what is arguably her most famous book, 1985's The Handmaid's Tale. Part fable, part science fiction, and part dystopian nightmare, this novel presented a harrowing vision of women's lives in an oppressive futuristic society. The Washington Post compared it (favorably) to George Orwell's iconic 1984.

As if her status as a multi-award-winning, triple-threat writer (fiction, poetry, and essays) were not enough, Atwood has also produced several children's books, including Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut (1995) and Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes (2003) -- delicious alliterative delights that introduce a wealth of new vocabulary to young readers. (from Barnes and Nobel website)

The Year of the Flood
Publisher/Publication Date: Nan A. Talese, Sept 22, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-52877-1
448 pages


5 comments:

Pam said...

I'm looking forward to your review of this one. I find that I either love or hate Margaret Atwood's novels.

Jonita said...

Yay! It's always a good day when I get a book in the mail- last week I had no books delivered, and I'm at a bit of a loss, LOL. Happy reading!!

Kelly @ The Novel Bookworm said...

I got this one too, but Pam's comment makes me nervous! The only other Atwood I've read is The Handmaid's Tale, which I loved. I hope I like this one too!

bermudaonion said...

This one came while we were at the beach. It'll be my first experience with Atwood's work.

M. said...

I was very disquieted by her most recent previous dystopian novel 'Oryx and Crake' - which was, of coure, the whole point of the story. This sounds like it could have similar, disturbingly thought-provoking effect. Meaning it's probably something that should get a wide reading audience.

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