• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    The one where Margaret Atwood gave a cracking WIRED interview.

    Janet Manley

    March 7, 2023, 3:42pm

    For someone who has foreseen the downfall of society, Margaret Atwood sure is chipper and fast with the reparteé. Take her recent WIRED interview with Kate Knibbs (lucky you, Kate!), who did a great job of facilitating a wide-ranging and titillating chat about everything from ChatGPT to aging.

    Article continues below

    Atwood’s new short story collection published this week: Old Babes in the Wood. Equally as important, these classic grabs from her interview, which are surely destined for a contextless second life on Brainyquote.com:

    The bit where she explains stumbling unknowingly onto George Orwell (who became a key influence)

    Atwood tells WIRED: “I read Animal Farm without knowing it was an allegory about the Soviet Union. I thought it was really going to be about animals, like Wind in the Willows.”

    The Atwood take on aging

    Article continues below

    “It’s more fun than you’d think. … As long as you’re not actually dying or having dementia, you just have a lot less to lose.”

    The moment she explains her invention to do author signings remotely

    She calls it “Longpen,” and has put a bit of research into it. “The closest sort of device to what I was envisioning was used for remote surgery.”

    In fact, legislators use an “autopen” to sign decrees and such. Consider it, Dame Atwood!

    The Glass Onion bit where she dabbles in crypto war games with other specially invited people

    Article continues below

    “We did this virtual course called Practical Utopias this fall. The premise of the course was that people built their own utopias. The social mandate was to be carbon neutral or carbon negative, and scalable. We had hundreds of participants from around the world working in eight teams.”

    The bit where [Several minutes of detailed discussion about how to best fox-proof a henhouse takes place.]

    That’s all the information we get.

    Read the whole thing at WIRED.

    Article continues below

  • Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

    For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.