Margaret Atwood warned us all.
Her fiction imagines societies ravaged by misogyny, oppression and environmental havoc. Her visions now appear all too actual.
The Canadian author, whose work has been printed in additional than 45 nations, is the writer of greater than 50 books of fiction, poetry, important essays and graphic novels.
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” her dystopian prophecy of the close to future, depicts the U.S. as a fundamentalist theocracy. The few girls whose fertility has not been compromised by environmental air pollution are pressured into childbearing. The most effective-selling 1985 novel is now an Emmy Award-winning collection on Hulu. Her most up-to-date guide is “Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces.”
Atwood is one in all a roster of writers slated for the Inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival from Might 20-23 on the Santa Fe Neighborhood Conference Heart. The marquee names embrace Colson Whitehead, George R.R. Martin, John Grisham, Pleasure Harjo, Lawrence Wright and Valeria Luiselli. The programming options lectures and conversations, lunches with celebrated cooks and cookbook authors, and strolling excursions with acclaimed authors.
Atwood will take the stage at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Might 21.
Given the devastating New Mexico fires, the latest occasions with the Supreme Courtroom and abortion rights, the 2016 election and the latest shootings of Black residents by police, “The Handmaid’s Tale” may very well be considered as prophecy.
“It’s not true yet, but it’s closer than it was in 1985,” Atwood wrote in an e mail from her Toronto dwelling. “A lot closer. On Jan. 6, 2021, the U.S. came the closest it’s been to an insider-supported coup.”
” ‘Authoritarian government’ is one-person rule,” she continued. “The usA. was explicitly established to stop that, as I perceive it – no kings, no Mafia bosses operating the nation, division of powers, separation of the judiciary (judges and courts) from the manager and legislative our bodies. Sharing of powers, checks and balances, no taxation with out illustration – all for the avoidance of tyranny.
” ‘Totalitarianism’ is a step additional – whole management by a dictatorship of each side of life,” she added. “You are seeing Russia getting very close to that right now. So the closer the U.S.A. comes to unraveling its founding principles, the closer to a tyranny it will come.”
Atwood set “The Handmaid’s Tale” after an American civil battle when a non secular group topples the federal government. They renamed the nation Gilead.
“Gilead is a totalitarian run under the pretense of Christianity,” she wrote. “I hold muttering, ‘Will the real Christians please stand up,’ as plenty of what’s put on the market as ‘Christianity’ has nothing to do with what Jesus of Nazareth appears truly to have taught. Love of God and Love of neighbor are presupposed to be on the core, however in Gilead – and in plenty of so-called trendy Christianity – they simply aren’t.
“Am I worried?” she requested. “Of course. The democratic U.S.A. hasn’t always behaved well, but it’s better than the alternatives. … Americans need to ask themselves whether they actually want to live in a democracy. If they don’t, let’s hear it.”
“Legislators should be asked to re-take their oath of office,” Atwood added. “If they no longer believe in the system that elected them and are prepared to be faithful to it, they should refuse. Yes or no? Let’s be clear.”
Dictatorships enchantment to our child-like want for a supernatural determine who will make every part proper, Atwood mentioned. However “I alone can fix it” is a recipe for tyranny.
“Those people don’t actually exist, but the promise of them appeals to the frightened child in all of us,” Atwood wrote. “They then say they’ll make the trains run on time (Mussolini) or the equal.
“For the would-be dictators, it’s obvious: con people, promise what you can’t deliver, kill people you’ve blamed for stuff, control businesses for your own advantage, run off with the loot; and if you’re really delusional or badly advised, start a war that eventually ruins your country.”
The trauma of Jan. 6 has left some deep scars, Atwood mentioned.
“This will fester for a while, I think. The irony is that the single ‘I alone can fix it’ figure on Jan. 6 turned out to be Mike Pence. Try as he might, he couldn’t force himself to act against the Constitution. Without him, you’d be in a dictatorship right now, or else a military guardianship of some kind, because I tend to feel that the army would not have gone along with King Trump. Of course, if Trump gets a chance, he’ll re-make the army. It’s what dictators do.”