Margaret Atwood is taking a break to talk tech.
The iconic Canadian author and poet has finished writing her new novel, The Testaments — a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale — and attended a fireside chat with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in Toronto.
“We’re in the editing burrow at the moment,” the 79-year-old reveals. “I have three days off… [but] you never finish. It’s like Twitter — it’s a work in progress.”
Atwood also discussed the upcoming book launch: “We’re launching it in September, from London, and we’re live-streaming into over a thousand cinemas worldwide,” she shares. “It’s going to enable people to be present in a way that otherwise they wouldn’t be able to be.”
An early adopter of the social media platform and a technological innovator herself, the Nobel Prize for Literature nominee and Dorsey have developed a friendship over the years. The 42-year-old tech giant referred to her as an “inspiration” and his “favourite author” when asked how their relationship flourished.
Atwood was also asked how her perspective on The Handmaid’s Tale has changed since the debut of the “screamingly successful” television series and the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“You write a book like that hoping that it will not come true. That’s why you write books like that,” she explains. “It’s like, ‘Here’s a plausible future, you are possibly heading towards it. Is that where you want to live? Yes? No?’ If no, do something about it — like maybe vote next time.”
She continues: “So I thought it would diminish, you know? That it would become less true, instead of which it became more true. And in November of 2016, on the 9th, everybody in the show woke up and said ‘We are in a different show.’ Nothing about the show had changed, but the frame — the way that people were going to see it changed.”
Added Atwood: “It has since become a protest symbol around the world, and a very cunning one.”
Check out some additional topics of conversation below: