Margaret Atwood on Writing Follow-up to Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood

The first two in Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy.

Face red and head down I shamefully admit I didn’t know that Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood were part of a trilogy. Did you know this? When Year of the Flood was released they were saying it wasn’t a sequel, per se, so it never occurred to me there was an actual trilogy (which is what BookLounge is calling it) in the works, much less one called the MaddAddam trilogy!

Where have I been, or did you Atwood fans not know either? I love her; I have a soft spot for her and her earlier works as well as her speculative fiction, even though I wasn’t totally in love with these two novels. I think I just have to give them both another chance (and I’m talking myself into the mood as I write!). Also, I’m very curious about this next novel and want to read it. Perhaps I’ll have a better appreciation for the first two when the last one emerges and maybe answers questions and no doubt is dealt with in an extraordinarily creative way, à la Atwood, of course.

Have a listen (you should see the vid on the right of the webpage) to the story maven here as she gives us a taste of what she’s working on and what we can expect from her latest novel (take a hint from that ever-present, delightful smirk of hers. She has something up her sleeve, that woman. Always).

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17 thoughts on “Margaret Atwood on Writing Follow-up to Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood

  1. I really liked Oryx and Crake but I haven’t read Year of The Flood yet and have never heard of a trilogy! I do like her distopian novels though because you can really hear that fantastic brain of hers whirring.
    To me, nothing that she writes is “meh”. I really can’t think of any other author who has made such important work in the past and continues to make important work today and not only that, but who is such an activist for the good of humanity AND animals/nature, who remains even at her age (!) to be involved in the NOW, to spread the word, to ask questions, to learn new technology, to advocate for what she believes – anyway, there’s a reason my dog has her namesake!

  2. I hear you. But for certain there are many authors who’ve made an impact like her; she’s just the one who’s captured your attention and resonates most with you.

    I didn’t think Oryx and Crake was meh, neither Year of the Flood. You’re right, like it or not, nothing Atwood writes is meh. There is always something major going on. I just remember being frustrated with OaC at first, until about halfway, when I finally understood what the hell was going on.

    But that was eons ago. I want to read both of them again, and actually finish YotF.

  3. I must confess I LOVED Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. Much better than Alias Grace, Edible Woman, or Surfacing, IMO. But then again, I love dystopian fiction, or speculative fiction, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. I didn’t know that Atwood was planning on making this a trilogy which makes me very happy indeed!

  4. Bronwyn,

    Ack, and I ADORED Edible Woman and Surfacing and all the earlier ones!! :)

    I admit there is a very attractive cleverness in these newer ones, and I look forward to reading them again with fresher eyes…

  5. Funny, you weren’t as behind as ME, who just learned there is a 3rd book coming after subscribing to MA’s tweets last week! She’s one of my all-time fave authors and I absolutely loved Oryx & Crake BUT at the same time it left me depressed for weeks afterward. Still haven’t found the right mood to begin the second but I’d better get on it, or perhaps read them both in prep for the third.

    1. I’ll have to read them both again, I think, before I read the new one. Funny, because my boss just mentioned wanting to read Oryx and Crake today. Now I’m in the mood! I think I like it better than Year of the Flood, though.

  6. I have to say that I did suspect it was going to be a trilogy, there were just too many questions left unanswered, now I know some authors like to do that, leave the reader guessing about what happens next, but I didn’t get the sense that that was the point of these books. I am really looking forward to the last installment.

    1. Not that I’ve heard yet. I’m not sure what it’s even to be called! I’ve heard very little about it, actually, and my searches on her site yield nothing. We’ll have to be surprised! :)

  7. I didn’t know either and I was really happy to hear it. I recently finished Oryx and Crake and can’t wait to start The Year of the Flood. I blogged about the trilogy as well:

    1. Somewhere in there your link was lost! But I checked out your blog anyway. Thanks for pointing me to it! (I liked your post about Nora Ephron.) It’s been ages since I read Oryx and Crake, and I have to start Year of the Flood again: I started it in 2009 and put it down because I was too distracted on my trip, and then I didn’t pick it up again when I got home. I hope you like YotF!

  8. I first read Oryx and Crake in 2006 during a stay on the French Pyrenees, and it instantly became my favorite book until then. Just today I happened to read a review at mentioning that this book is, in fact, part of a trilogy. This has made my so happy. The curious thing is that The Year of the Flood has been sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year and I haven’t touched it because I didn’t know that it had any relation to Oryx and Crake other than having been written by the same author. I have just finished reading Neverwhere by Neil Gailman and I was having some trouble deciding what book to pick up next. But now I know that today after work I’m gonna start reading Oryx and Crake again and when I’m finished I’m gonna read The Year of the Flood right away. I hope that the third book of the trilogy will be released soon because I can’t wait to read it.

  9. When I first read Oryx and Crake and later The Year of the Flood, I was slightly let-down, though I did really enjoy and appreciate them. I have read so much dystopic, sci fi and fantasy literature and I felt that others do the genre somewhat better. I also have read everything Atwood has written and she is in among my favourite writers.

    However, when I reread the two books, I was captivated by the language–beautiful, creative, creepy–and loved both books. I think the first time through I focused on the story line (which is good enough, by the way). I liked hearing about the same cataclysmic events and the lead-up to them from two different points of view. Some of her language and concepts have become part of my vernacular, and the way the Crakers speak kind of haunts me. I will always regret missing the God’s Gardeners choral performances. Hopefully, someone will do them again. It was a brilliant idea to collect stories from newspapers and create novels around some of the crazy research that is going on. Just this month ChickeeNobs and pigoons are here (excuse the spelling mistakes). I am feeling a sweet anguish waiting for the next book.

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