It’s that time of year again! As we prepare for the holiday season ahead, we’ll start putting together our shopping list. Luckily there’s no better place to start than with the literary goddess herself, Margaret Atwood. From dystopian novels to satires offering comic relief, Atwood’s novels cover every mood for every type of reader, making her books a one-stop shop for reader-friendly presents. Sometimes picking just the right book for your friend or loved one can be an overwhelming task, so to help, we’ve put together a gift guide to some of the Booker Prize–winning author’s most iconic fiction. Enjoy!
For the read-then-watch super fan
Recently adapted into a six-part Netflix original miniseries, Alias Grace is the perfect gift for someone who flew through Margaret Atwood’s other book-to-screen adaptations and is craving more. Director Mary Harron and writer/actress Sarah Polley bring Atwood’s imaginative story to life. It’s 1843 and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Captivating and disturbing, Alias Grace showcases Atwood at the peak of her powers.
For the mystery junkie
The Blind Assassin
Winner of the Booker Prize, The Blind Assassin weaves together strands of gothic suspense, romance, and science fiction into one utterly spellbinding narrative that is perfect for the voracious mystery reader. The novel begins with the suspicious death—a possible suicide—of a young woman named Laura Chase in 1945. Decades later, Laura’s sister, Iris, recounts her memories of their childhood, and of the dramatic deaths that have punctuated their wealthy, eccentric family’s history.
For the reader who likes psychological fiction
By turns satiric, thrilling, and terrifying, Bodily Harm charts the dark currents of the lust for power—both sexual and political, making it a great match for the reader who loves to explore the deepest twisted corners of the human psyche. Rennie Wilford is a journalist who writes about the latest trends and considers herself an expert on the superficial surfaces of life. When her own life takes a dark turn, she seeks to recuperate by flying to the Caribbean to research a fluffy travel piece. But her carelessly chosen destination, the tiny island of St. Antoine, is on the verge of a violent revolution and Rennie soon finds herself ensnared in a world of corruption and treachery and unsure whom to trust.
For the fan of coming-of-age stories
Readers of coming-of-age fiction are sure to relate to Cat’s Eye. Elaine Risley is a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman—but above all, she must seek release from her haunting memories. Disturbing, humorous, and compassionate—and a finalist for the Booker Prize—Cat’s Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knot of her life.
For the reader who likes eccentric characters
The Edible Woman
Atwood’s first novel introduces us to Marian McAlpin, the quirky character that makes this novel such a fun gift for your loved ones this holiday season. Marian is an “abnormally normal” young woman, according to her friends. But after her dependable boyfriend, Peter, proposes marriage, things take a strange turn. Suddenly empathizing with the steak in a restaurant, Marian finds she is unable to eat meat. As the days go by, her feeling of solidarity extends to other categories of food, until there is almost nothing left that she can bring herself to consume. Marked by blazingly surreal humor and a colorful cast of eccentric characters, The Edible Woman is a groundbreaking work of fiction.
For the reader who appreciates some comic relief
The Heart Goes Last
Atwood’s satirical novel offers insight into development and decay, freedom and surveillance—all with a little humor sprinkled in. In the gated community of Consilience, residents who sign a contract will get a job and a lovely house for six months of the year—if they serve as inmates in the Positron prison system for the alternate months. . . . Stan and Charmaine, a young urban couple, think Consilience may be the answer to their prayers. But when a series of troubling events unfolds, Positron begins to look less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled. The Heart Goes Last is a vivid, urgent vision of the timeless workings of the human heart.
For the dystopian reader
The MaddAddam Trilogy
Across three stunning novels—Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam—the bestselling, Booker Prize–winning novelist projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining. Set in a darkly plausible future shaped by plagues, floods, and genetic engineering, these three novels take us from the end of the world to a brave new beginning. Thrilling, moving, and a triumph of imagination, the MaddAddam Trilogy confirms the ultimate endurance of humanity, community, and love, making it the perfect present for the fan of dystopian fiction.
For the short story lover
Moral Disorder and Other Stories
This brilliant collection of connected short stories strings together several decades of moments in the life of one woman—as an ambitious girl in the 1930s, as a young professional coming of age in the uncertain ’50s and ’60s, and as half of a couple growing old together. In a series of vividly evoked settings that span cities, backwoods, and farm country, we see this woman contending over time with an unstable sister, a married lover, aging parents, mystifying stepchildren, vulnerable farm animals, and her own changing self. By turns funny, lyrical, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal, Moral Disorder displays Atwood’s celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage.
For readers that like novels about the dark side of friendship
The Robber Bride
One of Margaret Atwood’s most unforgettable characters, Zenia, lurks at the center of this intricate novel like a spider in a web. Roz, Charis, and Tony—university classmates decades ago—were reunited at Zenia’s funeral and have met monthly for lunch ever since, obsessively retracing the destructive swath she once cut through their lives. A brilliantly inventive fabulist, Zenia had a talent for exploiting her friends’ weaknesses, and cheating them of money, time, sympathy, and men. But one day, five years after her funeral, they are shocked to catch sight of Zenia. In The Robber Bride, Atwood proves herself a gleefully acute observer of the treacherous shoals of friendship, trust, desire, and power.
For the chills and thrills reader
A provocative blend of literary mystery, psychological thriller, and spiritual journey, Surfacing is a great fit for your friend who loves a spine-chilling read. Atwood’s haunting masterpiece is the story of an artist who goes in search of her missing father on a remote island in northern Quebec, accompanied by her boyfriend and a young married couple. But in the disorienting, transformative isolation of the wilderness, her friends’ marriage begins to crumble, sex becomes a catalyst for conflict, and violence and death lurk just beneath the surface. Surfacing is permeated with suspense, complex with layered meanings, and written in brilliant, diamond-sharp prose.
For EVERY reader!
The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments Box Set
Last, but definitely not least, we cannot recommend the box set of Margaret Atwood’s most iconic series enough. In The Handmaid’s Tale, the Republic of Gilead is a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women, including the Handmaid Offred. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. In The Testaments, set more than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the Republic of Gilead maintains its repressive grip on power, but it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women come together, with potentially explosive results. This beautifully designed slipcase will make the perfect holiday and perennial gift.