Margaret Atwood’s Latest Novel – Hag Seed
Margaret Atwood’s latest novel is a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This fascinating work on revenge and magic has attracted authors and filmmakers to make a number of interpretations, either in style or language, some great and some not so! The Hogarth Shakespeare Project have invited individual authors to retell Shakespeare’s stories in a prose novel to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. Margaret Atwood’s latest novel is a modern day telling of The Tempest and fourth such novel for the project. Margaret Atwood tells her tale with ‘gusto and extravagance’ says The Guardian of Hag-Seed. There are drug dealers and heavy metal, but at the core, there is desperation and the reinvention of self, very much Atwood’s style. The loss of a child and wife, and how to let go and move on from this grief, is at the core of this modern-day Prospero. Felix (Prospero) ousted from his job as a festival artistic director, finds himself isolated, grieving the loss of his wife, and more significantly his daughter Miranda. An offer to work in teaching theatre in prison facilitates the idea of revenge. Ultimately the book explores the concept that the prisons we find ourselves in are often of our own making and in the letting go of issues, like grief, is the only way to freedom. A challenging yet rewarding read, recommended read for lovers of Atwood but also of Shakespeare.