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Forging hybrid identities in selected works by Margaret Atwood
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Margaret Atwood’s speculative trilogy – Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009) and MaddAddam (2013) – has a post-apocalyptic setting, but also includes frequent flashbacks to a pre-apocalyptic world that is recognisably an extrapolated version of our own. In this near-future world current technologies as well as environmental concerns have had time to develop to their full dystopian (and utopian) potential. In the MaddAddam trilogy our contemporary fear of the hybrid is exploited: by framing nature as hybrid (variable, changeable, dynamic) the boundaries between human–nonhuman and natural–artificial become somewhat blurred. Moreover, these novels are also in many ways generically and thematically hybrid.


Although hybridity can perhaps most clearly be seen in Atwood’s recent trilogy, it is by no means confined to these three novels. In this paper I will look at Atwood’s use of hybridity in the trilogy in the light of some of her earlier work (such as her 1972 novel Surfacing and many of her short stories), in order to show that her concern with hybridity ranges beyond her speculative fiction and that hybridity plays an important role in her body of work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Margaret Atwood; Hybridity; Identity
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
English; Comparative Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33869OAI: diva2:751039
Eighth Biennial Conference of the Swedish Association for American Studies. Örebro, 26-27 September 2014
Available from: 2014-09-30 Created: 2014-09-30 Last updated: 2014-10-01Bibliographically approved

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Grimbeek, Marinette
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