Cardiff BookTalk‘s December event is on Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. Winner of this year’s Booker Prize and heralded as ‘the literary event of the year’ by The Guardian, this work of speculative fiction is the long-awaited sequel to Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985).
Intertwining narratives from three women with different relations to Gilead, it explores the theme of gender-based oppression and invites us to question the extent to which this perhaps not-so-otherworldly society mirrors and magnifies injustices in our own. It also delivers a thrilling tale that lends itself to lively discussion!
To guide us in our thinking about Atwood’s latest book, we have the great privilege of welcoming three expert speakers to begin our discussion:
- Teresa Baron studied Philosophy & Sociology at Cambridge, followed by a Master’s in Women’s Studies at Oxford, and she is now in the final year of her PhD in reproductive ethics at Southampton. As a non-academic sideline, Teresa also works on persuading the Catholic Church of the importance of sex education in schools.
- Ema Sullivan-Bissett is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests are in philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology, in particular, belief and its connection to truth, self-deception, and delusion.
- Diana Wallace is Professor of English Literature at the University of South Wales. Her publications include Christopher Meredith (2018), Female Gothic Histories: Gender, History and the Gothic (University of Wales Press, 2013), The Woman’s Historical Novel: British Women Writers, 1900-2000 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and Sisters and Rivals in British Women’s Fiction, 1914-39 (Macmillan, 2000). She edited Hilda Vaughan’s Here are Lovers (1926) for Honno’s Welsh Women’s Classics series. She is currently working on a study of modernist historical fiction.
Each of our speakers will present a 10-15 minute talk, and then there is an opportunity for audience questions and discussion. To make the most of the session, you may like to read The Testaments or, if you have recently read The Testaments, you may like to return to The Handmaid’s Tale to compare Atwood’s two depictions of Gilead.
The main event at 6.30pm will be preceded by a reception with tea, coffee, and biscuits at 6.00pm in Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Column Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU.