The English-major in me is just screaming “intertextuality! Layers! Meanings! Symbols!” I’ll try to contain her for the sake of this review. Margaret Atwood is a hit-or-miss author (at least with the people I completed my English BA with); you either love the novel, or don’t like it at all. I’m happy to say that “Hag-Seed” is a definite hit! She retold “The Tempest” by Shakespeare very well, and in such a weird setting that works. Prisoners who can rehabilitate themselves through the arts and drama is very inspirational, and is reflective of all of the “new” characters that Margaret Atwood has introduced to us (I say “new” because all of the main characters match up to an original character in the Shakespeare play).
I found a personal attachment to Felix, just because he’s so sassy at the beginning and I love him for it. I even tweeted Margaret Atwood about this, and she actually answered:
How cool is that? As the book goes on though, I sort of regretted tweeting this because I don’t talk with inanimate objects…oops!
Margaret Atwood takes “The Tempest” even further than the original play – she writes in a part where the inmates have to present on what will happen in the future of the characters they portray (Caliban was the most interesting section; anyone who has taken a Shakespeare course will agree with me). The ingenuity and creativity was astounding on Margaret Atwood’s part; it is something I personally always want to know whenever I finish reading a book. For now, my Shakespeare thoughts have been satisfied.
Here’s a summary from Goodreads.Whether you’ll love or hate “Hag-Seed,” it really is a work of art. A modernized retelling of a classic Shakespeare play is a rewarding way to either end your 2016, or being your 2017.
Have you already read “Hag-Seed?” Did you like it, or think it wasn’t good?