Margaret Atwood has a new book coming out in a few weeks, The Year of the Flood, the website for which launched this weekend.
The new novel is a simultaneouel in relation to the dystopian Oryx and Crake, featuring some of the same characters in an overlapping timeframe. I look forward to reading it, and I expect I'll be revisiting some of O&C as I do so.
(Read an excerpt from The Year of the Flood.)
The new website is a marketing marvel. Beyond promoting the book, a CD of associated "hymns" (lyrics by Atwood, and which figure in the novel), and related merchandise (t-shirts and totebags), it's selling environmental awareness.
Part of me is sceptical. Ultimately, it's all about selling books. But it's commendable that Atwood is taking her message (whatever exactly it might turn out to be) quite seriously, and putting her money where her mouth is.
For example, in embarking on tour to promote the book, she's publicly pledging to keep her carbon footprint to a minimum (she's taking a boat to England!), stay only in hotels that have environmental policies, and avoid bottled water.
Among the many links of interest on this website, two in particular caught my eye:
Victimless leather. Grow your own! Not sure how I feel about this. We've so much moved away from adorning ourselves with leathers and furs that being able to grow your own brings us back to a world where it's valued. I can see this encouraging poaching among those who can't afford the genetic synthetics.
Ecoburial. This is totally the way I want to go. Turned into dry pink crumbs, for easy and safe composting! Read about the environmental drawbacks of both cremation and traditional burial on the Promessa website.
Atwood will be blogging while she's on the road.
(You can also follow her on Twitter, where she repeatedly proves just how funny she is, in 140 characters or less: "I made a typo [...] 'Imperonating' is pretending to be Evita." "Good thing not me in charge of world!")
Now just to see what The Year of the Flood is actually about...