About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (sort of a bad wordplay on Orwell and machismo) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear language'), the umbrella of several of my literary projects in Dutch. This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Friday, March 11, 2016

20 people I admire (VII): Margaret Atwood

Who? Canadian novelist.

Why? Atwood has it all. At once she is thoroughly of the now, what with her penchant for irreverently mixing genres, being a great feminist icon and a staunch humanist, and also somewhat of a chronicler of imagination. She damn well ought to be on the short list for the Nobel Prize of literature sooner rather than later.

What resonates with me? Her wry sense of humour and the subtle shadings of morality she makes her characters inhabit. Atwood is one of those writers who can get under the skin of her characters but doesn’t do sentimentality. She is grounded in multiple worlds at once, and manages to concoct a fusion of all these influences all her own. A model to look up to.

Best bit? Most people would probably say ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, and sure, it is a modern classic that feels eerily prescient of the way fundamentalist regimes made the lives of women a living hell in Afghanistan under the Taliban, or the way reactionary American politicians speak about women and sexual minorities in ways they wouldn’t have dared when the book came out. For me however, her best novel is ‘The Robber Bride’, a novel that manages to capture all of Atwood’s superb skills in one.