Noted author Margaret Atwood said Saturday that “it’s a moment of turmoil everywhere” and that the election of Donald Trump has brought echoes of 1930s Europe.
“It feels the closest to the 1930s of anything that we have had since that time,” she aid from Frankfurt, where she will receive Sunday this year’s Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
“People in Europe saw the United States as a beacon of democracy, freedom, openness, and they did not want to believe that anything like that could ever happen there,” she said.
“But now, she continued, “times have changed, and, unfortunately it becomes more possible to think in those terms.”
The head of the German Book Trade, Heinrich Riethmueller, said the 77-year-old Canadian was receiving the accolade for “political intuition and clairvoyance when it comes to dangerous underlying trends and currents.”
Indeed, the television adaptation her 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, a show that recently captured eight Emmys, was dubbed by Rolling Stone as “TV’s Most Chilling Trump-Era Series.”
“It’s always been timely,” said the star’s show, Elisabeth Moss, of the work. “It’s just that now there are actual things happening with women’s reproductive rights in our own country that make me feel like this book is bleeding over into reality.”
Atwood is also being awarded this month a lifetime achievement award by PEN Center USA. She will be introduced at the event by Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, who said, “It’s fitting that the author of The Handmaid’s Tale is being honored at a time when women’s rights are under attack like never before.”