1st Edition

Posthumanity in the Anthropocene Margaret Atwood's Dystopias

By Esther Muñoz-González Copyright 2023

    In this book, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novels—The Handmaid’s Tale, the MaddAddam trilogy, The Heart Goes Last, and The Testaments—are analyzed from the perspective provided by the combined views of the construction of the posthuman subject in its interactions with science and technology, and the Anthropocene as a cultural field of enquiry. Posthumanist critical concerns try to dismantle anthropocentric notions of the human and defend the need for a closer relationship between humanity and the environment. Supported by the exemplification of the generic characteristics of the cli-fi genre, this book discusses the effects of climate change, at the individual level, and as a collective threat that can lead to a "world without us." Moreover, Margaret Atwood is herself the constant object of extensive academic interest and Posthuman theory is widely taught, researched, and explored in almost every intellectual field. This book is aimed at worldwide readers, not only those interested in Margaret Atwood’s oeuvre, but also those interested in the debate between critical posthumanism and transhumanism, together with the ethical implications of living in the Anthropocene era regarding our daily lives and practices. It will be especially attractive for academics: university teachers, postgraduates, researchers, and college students in general.



    1.Introduction to Posthumanism, Guiding Ideas, and Tenets

    The Posthuman/Posthumanism

    The Anthropocene and Climate Fiction


    2. The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments. From Dystopian Departure to Utopian Inspiration

    The Posthuman: Surveillance and Biotechnological Modifications
    The Anthropocene and Climate Fiction
    The Handmaid’s Tale
    ’s and The Testaments’s Dystopian Character

    3. MaddAddam: Eternal Return?

    The Posthuman Body, Identity, and Ethics
    MaddAddam as Cli-Fiction
    MaddAddam as Dystopia

    4. The Heart Goes Last: Dante’s Inferno in the 21st Century

    Surveillance and Biotechnology: Gluttony, Greed, and Anger
    The Heart Goes Last as a Dystopia: Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery




    Esther Muñoz-González is a lecturer at the Department of English and German Studies at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. Her work has been published in journals such as Atlantis and Brno Studies in English and in volumes such as Transhumanism and Posthumanism in Twenty-First Century Narrative (Routledge).