I reviewed Margaret Atwood’s most recent novel The Heart Goes Last for the Sydney Morning Herald, which you can read here. To be honest, it was a difficult review for me to write; I was disappointed with the book although I fully expected to love it. Margaret Atwood is actually one of the writers who inspired me to write myself – I have a vivid recollection of reading The Handmaid’s Tale and having an “ah-ha” moment. It was one of those occasions when I realised that the key to writing well was the way in which details were brought to life and this is one of the reasons I’ve always admired Atwood’s work.
I do feel obliged to point out that many other reviewers have responded more positively to this book than I did. In particular, I think there is something to be said about Mat Johnson’s take on the book in the New York Times – that Atwood has so fundamentally changed the genre of speculative fiction, it’s easy to now read her work without appreciating how truly innovative it is.
I still have no doubt I’ll read and enjoy her next novel, which I’ve read is loosely based on The Tempest.