Looking forward to reading Margaret Atwood's latest story? You'd better track down a time machine, because it won't be published for another century.
Margaret Atwood is the first author to contribute to "The Future Library Project" — a kind of literary experiment-meets-art installation. Earlier this summer, Scottish artist Katie Paterson planted 1,000 trees in Norway's Nordmarka forest. Every year for the next 100 years, an "outstanding" writer, chosen by a panel of literary experts, will be invited to contribute an unpublished text on the subject of "imagination and time." In 2114, the trees will be cut down and turned into paper, on which the 100 stories will finally be published.
"It is the kind of thing you either immediately say yes or no to. You don't think about it for very long," said Atwood in an interview with The Guardian. "I think it goes right back to that phase of our childhood when we used to bury little things in the backyard, hoping that someone would dig them up, long in the future, and say, 'How interesting, this rusty old piece of tin, this little sack of marbles is. I wonder who put it there?' [...] When you write any book you do not know who's going to read it, and you do not know when they're going to read it. You don't know who they will be, you don't know their age, or gender, or nationality, or anything else about them. So books, anyway, really are like the message in the bottle."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
For more on The Future Library Project, click over to The Guardian.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.