“It’s increasingly evident that narration is built in to the human floor-plan as it were. Little kids take to story-telling very, very early… The fact is that we will tell stories; it’s part of being human.
“What effects those stories may have are often quite unforeseen by the people telling them, but if they are listened to, if they have an audience, they are doing something…
“This kind of novel is like a detour sign on a road: if you don’t want to fall into the big hole that looms ahead, you should probably turn right here. Or left.” (laughs)
I interviewed Margaret Atwood about her new novel The Year of the Flood when she visited Bristol earlier this month as part of her international book tour, which has been dubbed the greenest book tour ever – Atwood travelled to the UK by ship rather than plane, forswore meat and insisted that all coffee served came from organic, Fairtrade, shade-grown plantations.
Her event at the Bristol Festival of Ideas was unusual in other ways too – Atwood was joined on stage by a choir and group of actors to perform dramatized readings from the book and the specially composed hymns of the God’s Gardeners sect.
Click here to find out why writing dystopian fiction is still an optimistic act, why Montecristo cigars are so called, and why a book tour is like hang-gliding… [12 minutes]