Margaret Atwood Witnesses the Visual Legacy of The Handmaid’s Tale

A sweet moment from this weekend’s Book Riot Live: Guest speaker Margaret Atwood got to see The Handmaid’s Tale tattoo chain, a collaboration among Book Riot, Litographs, and Random House. Litographs took the text of the first two chapters of Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, broke it into 350 lines or phrases, then distributed the temporary tattoos to volunteers at Book Riot Live. Each person photographed their arms or necks or other body parts, with the end result being a photo series of the text as written across 350 bodies. (Photo via Book Riot’s Twitter.)

Here’s another shot of the tattoo chain, from Book Riot’s Rebecca Schinsky:

The Handmaid's Tale tattoo chain Book Riot Live

The best part was, Atwood herself kicked off the tattoo chain with the first line:

Margaret Atwood Book Riot Live The Handmaid's Tale tattoo

Atwood touched upon The Handmaid’s Tale during the Writing What You Don’t Know panel, in which she was in conversation with N.K. Jemisin:

For The Handmaid’s Tale, the rule was that I wouldn’t put anything into it that people had not done at some time in some place. I brought them all together but each of the individual things had already been done by somebody at sometime.

You can read the full panel writeup from The Guardian. Twitter also has plenty of highlights, including photos like this one from Ellen B. Wright:

Margaret Atwood N.K. Jemisin Book Riot Live


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