Margaret Atwood Reading Month 2018: Week Five (Endings) #MARM

The best part of this month’s event has been hearing about other readers’ reading and rereading. With every mention, I want to return to that poem, to that story, to that novel, to those characters, to those worlds. So, what’s next?

An additional layer to that pleasure has been the discussion of the other ways in which Margaret Atwood’s stories and roles are reaching readers.

Coming of age in the 1980s, there was a film of The Handmaid’s Tale which you could rent on a video cassette. The Robber Bride was produced for Canadian television, and a short story was produced as part of a series of works by women writers.

Occasionally you might catch an interview on public television (although descriptions of these broadcasts were rarely included in the newspaper write-ups of upcoming shows, so you either watched loyally, and often repeatedly, or you missed out).

Even when videos of public performances began to be made available on the ‘net, video and audio players would crash more often than not, dashing the initial excitement of a glimpse of something previously thought out-of-reach (which, indeed, remained so).

Now there are endless videos online: interviews and speeches, readings (by the author and by enthusiastic performers), and compete productions available with a few clicks and a readily executed payment. And, even more exciting, new serial adaptations of her novels.

Although I am chronically behind with limited and ongoing TV series, I avidly watched both seasons of  The Handmaid’s Tale as soon as the episodes were available, occasionally even rewatching. And, oh, the thrill of anticipating the adaptation of Oryx and Crake, which sounds astonishingly good. (And, just announced yesterday, the news of a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.)

So, you have probably already guessed that my “next” is to finish watching Alias Grace, directed and adapted by Sarah Polley, which Margaret Atwood as a supervising producer. I’ve only seen the first episode, but it’s very well done so far, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

And, how about you?

The Schedule for Margaret Atwood Reading Month:

Today: Naomi is also posting about Beginnings at Consumed by Ink.

November 8: Cover Images (hosted by Naomi at Consumed by Ink)

November 15: Favourites (hosted by Marcie at Buried in Print)

November 22: Quotations (hosted by Naomi at Consumed by Ink)

November 29: Endings (hosted by Marcie at Buried in Print)

November 30: A Round-Up of links collected from participants

You can find more information about this event in our announcement post here and here.

Remember: These weekly themes are in addition to any book, story, poem, essay, interview, article, etc. you want to read (or watch) over the month and discuss on your blogs or on Twitter.  #MARM

Happy Reading and Watching!



  1. Laila@BigReadingLife November 30, 2018 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I’ve never seen a film or tv adaptation of any of Atwood’s works, but I’m curious about Alias Grace. I loved that book. I am too wimpy to watch Handmaid’s Tale. I know myself! Thanks for co-hosting MARM!

    • Buried In Print December 4, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply

      From what everyone else has said, it seems like a safe bet (and it was broadcast on public television so I don’t think you’d be too wimpy for that one – heheh). Thanks for taking part!

  2. annelogan17 November 30, 2018 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    I haven’t seen the Handmaid’s Tale yet (gasp!) although I hope to rent it off the net soon. I did watch Alias Grace on Netflix though, and really liked it. It’s super spooky!

    • Buried In Print December 4, 2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

      That’s good to know. It seems to be a universal favourite so far. There are some amazing moments in Handmaid’s that left me very inspired and heartened. And it’s been very interesting to see the second season veer from the original narrative.

  3. Naomi November 29, 2018 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    I haven’t watched anything!! But I would absolutely love to watch Alias Grace, above all the others. Maybe I will do that over the Holidays (along with all the other things I’ve been saving for the Holidays – haha!).

    • Buried In Print November 29, 2018 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      You could watch it with the kids! Fortunately the holidays are six-months-long holidays, so we’re all good and our plans are golden.

  4. kaggsysbookishramblings November 29, 2018 at 6:27 am - Reply

    I’ve enjoyed taking part, even though I only managed minimal input. I don’t know that I will watch any of the adaptations though because I have such a strong vision of the worlds Atwood paints with words that I would struggle to cope with anyone else’s vision.

    • Buried In Print November 29, 2018 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Thanks for carving out a space for MARM in your stacks: I know she’s a special favourite of yours. And I totally understand your reservations about the adaptations; I think that’s why I’m so excited by the ones which include her in the process, it’s more like bringing the original into another way of being rather than stealing part of the original’s spark. Also, her cameo appearances make me giggle.

  5. heavenali November 29, 2018 at 3:23 am - Reply

    I have really enjoyed seeing all the MARM posts and talk. I enjoyed the TV series of Alias Grace it had been so long since I read it I enjoyed being reminded of the story.

    That news yesterday – had me so excited.

    • Buried In Print November 29, 2018 at 7:17 am - Reply

      I’m happy to hear you’ve enjoyed all the MARM-ness. And I’m really looking forward to the rest of AG (via Sarah Polley). Fortunately I’ve reread it recently, so I will be content to watch and remember. As for the news, I’m a little anxious (I liked the way the novel ended) but also excited (because I would want to know her ending, even though I think the series is doing very well extending her vision). I see you’ve already got it scheduled for your bookgroup in Sept/Oct!

  6. A Life in Books November 29, 2018 at 3:21 am - Reply

    The Handmaid’s Tale was one of the most harrowing TV adaptations I’ve seen. I resisted watching it for obvious reasons but It was extraordinarily good however I didn’t watch series two. What did you think of it?

    • Buried In Print November 29, 2018 at 7:14 am - Reply

      I agree, ‘harrowing’ is a good word, but it’s also one of the most resoundingly inspiring ones too; it has made me weep and it has made me quietly grit my teeth, but it has made me cheer and whoop too. What was the most harrowing aspect of S1 for you?

      People have said S2 is darker, but I think they overlooked the markers in S1; it was no secret where things were heading and the darkness no different than we have seen in historical resistance movements around the world. For me, this isn’t a story about the future but a cloaked (literally!) story about humanity across time, so I think this, too, affects my willingness to endure difficult scenes.

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