With the same stunning blend of prophecy and social satire she brought to her classic The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood gives us a keenly prescient novel about the future of humanity—and its present.
Humanity here equals Snowman, and in Snowman’s recollections Atwood re-creates a time much like our own, when a boy named Jimmy loved an elusive, damaged girl called Oryx and a sardonic genius called Crake. But now Snowman is alone, and as we learn why we also learn about a world that could become ours one day.
“Ingenious and disturbing.… A landmark work of speculative fiction, comparable to A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World.… Atwood has surpassed herself.”
–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Rigorous in its chilling insights and riveting in its fast-paced ‘what if’ dramatization, Atwood’s superb novel is as brilliantly provocative as it is profoundly engaging.”
–Booklist (starred review)
“Oryx and Crake is Atwood at her playful, allegorical best.” —Globe and Mail
“[Oryx and Crake is written] with a style and grace that demonstrate again just how masterful a storyteller she is. If one measure of art’s power is its ability to force you to face what you would very much rather not, Oryx and Crake – the evocative tale of a nightmarish near-future – is an extraordinary work of art, one that reaffirms Atwood’s place at the apex of Canadian literature.” —Maclean’s
“Atwood’s new masterpiece.…Extraordinary.… [Atwood pulls] back the curtain on her terrible vision with such tantalizing precision, its fearsome implications don’t fully reveal themselves until the final pages.… A darkly comic work of speculative fiction.” —W Magazine (U.S.)
“For all its artistic achievement, this novel poses serious questions.… Margaret Atwood is a consummate artist, yes, but her work also pricks our social and ethical consciousness. That is a rare combination, an important achievement.…” —Globe and Mail
“Atwood’s great talent for narrative has never been displayed to better effect.” —Toronto Star
“Riveting.…Chesterton once wrote of the ‘thousand romances that lie secreted in The Origin of Species.’ Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them, and one of the most brilliant.” —Publishers Weekly
“Oryx and Crake is Atwood at her best – dark, dry, scabrously witty, yet moving and studded with flashes of pure poetry. Her gloriously inventive brave new world is all the more chilling because of the mirror it holds up to our own. Citizens, be warned.” —The Independent (U.K.)
“Oryx and Crake can hold its own against any of the 20th century’s most potent dystopias—Brave New World, 1984, The Space Merchants —with regard to both dramatic impact and fertility of invention.…Oryx and Crake showcases a nightmare version of the present era of globalization on a globe coming apart at its ecological seams.… It is a scathing (because bang-on) portrait of the way we live now.…Majestic.…” Washington Post
“Is there a more accomplished or versatile writer, in Canada, than Margaret Atwood?… Atwood is on top of the times – intuits them, really.… The moral questions of Oryx and Crake are already in play.” —National Post (profile)
“Oryx and Crake is a broad canvas that allows Atwood to show off her brilliant talent for satire and wordplay, as well as her considerable love and knowledge of the natural world.” —Quill & Quire
“Wonderfully vivid, and the sardonic unveiling of future history makes for a strong narrative drive.” —National Post
“Perfectly constructed, funny, and satiric. It is inventive yet prophetic, in fact, apocalyptic and weirdly feasible.… It is brilliant.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“Oryx and Crake is set just the other side of the evening news, in a future so close we can smell its stench.…Atwood has outdone herself here.” —Georgia Straight
“Contemporary novelists rarely write about science or technology. Margaret Atwood tackles both – and more – in one of the year’s most surprising novels.” —The Economist
FINALIST 2004 - Orange Prize
FINALIST 2003 - Man Booker Prize
Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
She is the author of more than thirty books, novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children.
Atwood's work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her new novel is Oryx and Crake. She is the recipient of numerous honours, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the U.K., the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S., Le Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England.
She lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.