Volume “Who Knows What We’d Make of It, If We Ever Got Our Hands on It?”
In the nightstands of hotel rooms, kept under lock and key, in the poetry of a pre-apocalyptic environmental cult, and quoted by children, atheists, and murderers alike—the Bible is omnipresent in the work of Margaret Atwood. This volume, the first of its kind, assembles cutting-edge literary and critical readings of Atwood and the Bible. The essays span the breadth of Atwood’s work, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, the MaddAddam trilogy (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam), poetry, essays, and more. Taking as a model Atwood’s own playful dialogues with the Bible, the contributors employ a variety of theoretical approaches (feminist, deconstructionist, animal theory, affect theory, and so on) to explore both the ancient and modern corpus of texts in dialogue with each other. In The Handmaid’s Tale, the Bible is famously used as a text that structures an entire society—though for precisely this reason it is a dangerous text that must be controlled by the elite, kept out of the hands of those who may turn it into an “incendiary device.” This volume explores what happens when Atwood, and we as readers, take the Bible into our own hands.