Five things you didn’t know about Margaret Atwood, whose apocalyptic new novel is out August 27

Five things you didn’t know about Margaret Atwood, whose apocalyptic new novel is out August 27

The Dame of Doom: five things you didn’t know about the ubiquitous Margaret Atwood, whose apocalyptic new novel, MaddAddam, is out this month
(Image: Getty Images)

1 | She eats bugs
“My dad was an entomologist, so I have nothing against eating insects. Giant locusts are delicious toasted.”

2 | She thinks about killing people
“The murder story I wrote for the New Yorker came out of an Arctic cruise I went on with an organization called Adventure Canada. A bunch of us were talking about how, if you wanted to kill someone up there and get away with it, you would do it.”

3 | She has a thing for zombies
“The British writer Naomi Alderman and I co-wrote a story called “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home” for Wattpad, an online fiction site. Naomi also wrote the script for Zombies, Run!, an exercise app that makes you think you’re in the middle of a zombie attack, and in which I make a voice cameo. I recorded my part in a tiny studio in London—it was like the old radio days.”

4 | She takes no joy in the Rob Ford mess
“It’s gone beyond schadenfreude and into the realm of ‘This is pathetic.’ I think Ford seriously needs help. What this whole story says to me is that he desperately wants to be liked, and is quite shy. I can see why he resents slick operators and all those other people he sees as his enemies.”

5 | She once got mugged in broad daylight
“Two young kids approached me on a residential street in the Annex years ago, probably looking for drug money. I suppose I looked like an old lady. One of them was wearing a ski mask, and they had this walloping big knife. These kids had seen too much television—if you’re going to stick someone up with a knife, you shouldn’t carry around a big one like that. It’s too visible. They were quite nervous; their hands were shaking. I gave them my money, but said, ‘Not the cards.’ They said, ‘Oh, okay.’ ”

by Margaret Atwood
Available Aug. 27