Author Margaret Atwood is a Bookshop Santa Cruz staff favorite. Find some her books below, including her latest novel, The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, as well as her upcoming collection of poetry, Dearly: New Poems—available for preorder below.
Kate Schatz—Longtime friend and UCSC alum authors the books we love to read and recommend to our young feminists. Find her books below.
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Get ready, everyone: it’s time to go back to Gilead. There aren’t many clues as to what we can expect from this follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale, but we can be sure that the journey will be harrowing. Atwood says she’s been inspired to write The Testaments partly because of the current political climate in the United States, so perhaps we’ll see a new Commander with a shockingly bad orange toupée? — Jess
I missed this one growing up, and worried that the book wouldn’t hold up to the off-the-charts hype. I’m happy to say this gorgeous, absolutely mesmerizing book is as relevant and engrossing today as ever. Offred’s story is so touching (and terrifying), because the world she inhabits feels so close to our own, with diction that feels positively poetic. — Jax
I will always have a fond spot in my heart for this particular book; it was my introduction to the wonder that is Atwood. It’s a Booker-winning play on genre that twists gothic romance with pulpy science fiction, populated by astonishingly vivid characters and scenery. When I finished it I found myself torn between reading it again and grabbing one of her many other masterpieces. — Kat
I am increasingly certain that Margaret Atwood has prophetic powers, as
the terrifying details of her books are becoming more and more
prescient. MaddAddam is the final book in the trilogy that includes Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, and which may be an accurate vision of Earth’s future. But her smart, dark humor, featured more than ever in MaddAddam, keeps you from spiraling into the abyss. Read up – you’ll be entertained, and forewarned. — Kat
You’ll have so much fun with MaddAddam! I’m serious – the societal collapse in this one is caused by a Viagra-cum-extasy-like pill that wipes out most of humanity, but don’t worry! Giant, neon bunnies and small horses bred to provide multicolored hair extensions are still running around with abandon. Our heroines are a stripper who survives the Blysspluss plague because she’s already in quarantine for a venereal disease, and a tough broad turned semi-nun who learns how to speak to bees. It sounds insane, I realize this. But it’s my favorite trilogy of all time, and the last book is so weirdly romantic, I cried for hours when I finished it. Oh, there’s also a new humanoid species created in a lab. The men’s penises turn blue when they’re ready to mate, and they purr around their injured to help them heal faster. It all makes sense in context, I promise. — Jess
Straight up: This is Book One of the best dystopian trilogy I have ever read. The human population is all but wiped out by a deadly version of Viagra. The Crakers, weird simple-minded blue-penised clones, are the caretakers of the future. False prophet Snowman the Jimmy narrates this tale of what went wrong. You will speed-read through this book to find out what happens next. — Jason
Alias Grace addresses the limitations that have been placed on women throughout history. As a woman in 19th century, Grace Marks, a young immigrant with no connections, is at the mercy of whoever will take her on as a servant, and she is punished for choosing strength over vulnerability. Society continually stifles her, leading her into madness.
Part historical fiction, part murder mystery, part psychological thriller... This book has it all! If you're a fan of strong female narrators and/or twisty dream sequences, you'll love Atwood's interpretation of these true events. — Jess