Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Review: Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood

Another Hogarth Shakespeare Project book that I thoroughly enjoyed despite it having two major challenges for me. The first challenge is that I know virtually nothing about the original The Tempest. The second is that I have had issues with Ms. Atwood’s writing for many years, which I only recently confronted and re-evaluated. A third factor was that I kept hearing the wonderfu satirical song “I’ve Seen Shakespeare Done in Modern Dress” by Bill Weeden and David Finkle.

Those things noted, I enjoyed the book very much. I was grabbed by the beginning rehearsal, which seemed heavily influenced by “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” And it’s been very interesting watching the former artistic director try to create a play and a revenge play using primarily prisoners in a correctional institute while totally losing his mind re his deceased daughter.

One of the more interesting points is Ms. Atwood’s portrayal of how the artistic director leads his potential actors to analyze the characters that they are reluctant to play. It’s a wonderful exercise in thinking outside the box.

So, this series continues to delight and surprise me, and I wish Hogarth/Penguin Random House would revive it.

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