Margaret Atwood’s "visionary" new work of non-fiction, Burning Questions Essays 2004–2021, will be published by Chatto & Windus in March 2022.
The Vintage imprint described it as “an exhilarating collection of non-fiction from the bestselling, double Booker Prize-winning phenomenon that is Margaret Atwood”.
Becky Hardie, deputy publishing director at Chatto & Windus, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Karolina Sutton from Curtis Brown. It is scheduled for 1st March 2022 publication, priced at £13 in hardback.
The blurb for Burning Questions Essays 2004–2021 reads: “This brilliant selection of essays — funny, erudite, endlessly curious, uncannily prescient — seeks answers to ‘Burning Questions’ such as: Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories? How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating? How can we live on our planet? Is it true? And is it fair? What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism?
“In over 50 pieces Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humour at the world, and reports back to us on what she finds. The roller-coaster period covered in the collection brought an end to the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. From debt to tech, the climate crisis to freedom, from when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) and how to define granola, we have no better guide to the many and varied mysteries of our universe.”
Atwood said: “It's been a wild ride so far, the 21st century. Many of the questions that have been smouldering for decades have now burst into flames. Unless we can answer them, quickly and effectively, so will we.”
Hardie said: “These are troubling times, but at least we have Margaret Atwood to help us try and make some sense of them. Her lectures, criticism, obituaries and political and cultural commentaries are as entertaining as they are edifying, as down-to-earth as they are visionary. This is a book to keep close at hand for many years to come.”
Atwood is based in Toronto, Canada, and has written more than 50 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid's Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments (both published by Chatto), which was a global bestseller and won the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly (Chatto), her first collection of poetry for a decade.
Through Nielsen BookScan in the UK she has sold 3.5 million print books sold for £28.7m in total, with The Handmaid's Tale on 1.1 million copies sold across all print editions since 1998.