Atwood Embarks on Eco-Friendly Book Tour

by Adrian Versteegh

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.21.09

Margaret Atwood plans to keep it green as she tours in support of her latest novel, an environmental calamity tale titled The Year of the Flood, forthcoming from Nan A. Talese next month. The Booker Prize-winning author will travel by train where possible, carry minimal luggage, eschew bottled water, and require that venues serve only fair trade, bird-friendly coffee. According to her Web site, Atwood will also commit to a vegetarian diet, “with the exception of non-avian and non-mammalian bioforms once a week,” for the duration of her sixteen-week tour.

Set in the same dystopian timeline as Atwood’s earlier novel Oryx and Crake (Nan A. Talese, 2003), The Year of the Flood focuses on a post-apocalyptic religious community known as God’s Gardeners. Hymns taken from the book will be performed at many of the tour events by a locally-recruited cast, with Atwood herself playing the role of narrator. The six-country tour gets underway next week with readings aboard the Queen Mary II, somewhere between New York City and Southampton, England.