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It seems like every woman I know remembers the first time she came into contact with Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, the dystopian novel about what happens to women in a society that strips them of their rights. I read it in my secondary school English class, and it unlocked a door in my mind I never even knew was there. The book made me an Atwood acolyte for life.
And so when her latest, Hag-Seed, out 6th October, arrived on my desk earlier this year, I quietly recused myself from all other to-dos and spent a solid six hours reading. Fellow fans, I am thrilled to report: Atwood is just as brilliant as ever. I would suggest scheduling some cozy armchair time with her book in the weeks to come.
Of course, Hag-Seed isn't the only wonderful book that hits shelves this autumn. Brit Bennett's The Mothers is an important coming-of-age story that also questions the way we racialise "normal" narratives, while The Loved Ones, by Sonya Chung, will linger in your mind long after you close its final pages.
Here are my picks for your autumn 2016 reading list — I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. May you find yourself sipping a hot chocolate while subsumed in these plots with changing leaves somewhere nearby. Personally, I can't imagine a better autumn afternoon than that.
Photo: William Morrow.