Margaret Atwood has revealed her first poetry collection for a decade: Dearly will be published by Vintage in November.
"By turns moving, playful and wise, the poems gathered in Dearly are about absences and endings, ageing and retrospection, but also about gifts and renewals," the synopsis reads. "They explore bodies and minds in transition, as well as the everyday objects and rituals that embed us in the present. Werewolves, sirens and dreams make their appearance, as do various forms of animal life and fragments of our damaged environment."
"Before she became one of the world’s most important and loved novelists, Atwood was a poet. Dearly is her first collection in over a decade. It brings together many of her most recognisable and celebrated themes, but distilled–from minutely perfect descriptions of the natural world to startlingly witty encounters with aliens, from pressing political issues to myth and legend. It is a pure Atwood delight, and long-term readers and new fans alike will treasure its insight, empathy and humour."
Atwood announced the news to her two million followers on her Twitter account on Monday (27th January) with a link to the title on Amazon. The collection will be published in hardback on 10th November, retailing at £12.99.
Becky Hardie, deputy publishing director at Chatto & Windus, acquired rights for Dearly from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown and will publish simultaneously with McClelland & Stewart in Canada and Ecco in the US. Penguin Random House Canada will also be producing the audiobook of Dearly, which will be narrated by Atwood herself and released simultaneously with the print edition.
Hardie said: "Every poem in Dearly rings with all Margaret Atwood’s characteristic curiosity and energy. It is a pure delight which stretches heart and mind. We are so proud to welcome her to Chatto’s poetry list with this new collection, and look forward to sharing it with her many fans."
The last year has been a stellar year for the Toronto-based author. The Handmaid’s Tale follow-up The Testaments (both published by Vintage) dominated 2019’s publishing world, after thwarting a daily barrage of cyber-hacks which attempted to gain the manuscript pre-publication on 10th September 2019. It became the fastest-selling adult fiction hardback title in four years when it shifted 103,000 units in its first week. Atwood went on to win the Booker, in a historic and controversial first joint win with Bernardine Evaristo. The Testaments was the only Booker winner to have hit the overall UK top spot before claiming the prize.
Last year was a record for Atwood’s sales, with the author earning £6.3m through BookScan. Altogether Atwood has sold 3.3 million copies for £27.3m through Nielsen BookScan's Total Consumer market.