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Following the US election of Donald Trump last November, Canadian author Margaret Atwood sees in America some elements of the dystopian futures that are a theme in many of her books.

“It’s the return to patriarchy,” she said in an interview with The New Yorker. “Look at [Trump’s] Cabinet. Look at the kind of laws that people have put through in the States. Absolutely they want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and they will have to deal with the consequences if they do. You’re going to have a lot more orphanages, aren’t you? A lot more dead women, a lot more illegal abortions, a lot more families with children in them left without a mother. They want it ‘back to the way it was’. Well, that is part of the way it was.”

In protest, she attended the Women’s March that was held in Toronto following Trump’s taking office in January. “After sixty years, why are we doing this again?” she asks. “As you know, in any area of life, it’s push and pushback. We have had the pushback, and now we are going to have to push again.”

Receiving a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Critics Circle award ceremony last month in New York City, Atwood explained why at age 77 she is still writing novels: “Why do I do such a painful task? For the same reason I give blood. We must all do our part, because if nobody contributes to this worthy enterprise then there won’t be any, just when it’s most needed. Never has American democracy felt so challenged.”

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