1. You'll want to join Emma Watson's book club
Watson chose The Handmaid’s Tale for her “Our Shared Shelf,” feminist book club in May/June. (If you haven't already read it - get on it, stat!).
2. Is Atwood bored by the question ‘are you a feminist'?
The Canadian author told Watson: "I’m not bored with it, but we have to realize it’s become one of those general terms that can mean a whole bunch of different things, so I usually say, ‘Tell me what you mean by that word and then we can talk.'”
She continued: "So, if we mean, should women as citizens have equal rights, I'm all for it and a number of advances have been made in my lifetime regarding property rights and divorce and custody of children and all of those things. But do we mean, are women always right? Give me a break! I'm sorry, but no!"
3. What is the significance of the character Aunt Lydia?
The author said the role of Aunt Lydia, who works at the re‑education school that Offred attends, reflects social structures.
She explained: "People say, “Why do you have Aunt Lydia?” “Why do you have the female aunt being so controlling to women?” And I say because they would be! That’s how such a power structure would operate, that’s how they’ve operated in the past: You give somebody a bit more power over the others, and they will take it. So it’s not a case of all women being angelic. We know that’s not true. Women are human beings, a mixed lot. I tried to be true to human nature."
4. Atwood's thoughts on the state of politics in the US
"I'm not easily depressed by these sorts of things. It's happened before. If you were born in the '90's, you were born into a world where quite a few rights for various groups had been established, at least in the West, and you thought that was normal," she said.
5. What to watch next
If you like The Handmaid’s Tale, chances are you'll enjoy Watson’s film The Ciricle, based on the Dave Eggers novel. According to Watson, the film “ is about how easy it is and would be to control huge groups of people with the amount of data that’s been collected”. Sound a little close to home, we think...