Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson

BY Arts Desk  September 21, 2009 at 2:29 PM EDT

On Monday’s NewsHour, Jeffrey Brown spoke with author Margaret Atwood about her latest novel, “The Year of the Flood”:

Atwood, one of Canada’s leading writers, has published more than two dozen books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She won the 2000 Booker Prize for her novel, “The Blind Assassin,” but is perhaps still best known for her first foray into futuristic fiction, the 1985 novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Her newest novel is “The Year of the Flood” — a companion to her recent book, “Oryx and Crake.” The novel conjures up a nasty future in which a religious cult called God’s Gardeners struggles to survive amid biological experiments run amok, a diminishing food supply and a pandemic that leads to the end of the world as we know it.

Below is Jeffrey Brown’s extended interview with Atwood at her home in Toronto:

Atwood put together a dramatic reading of the novel as part of its launch. Below is a clip from a recent performance at St. James Church in London. One of the main characters, Toby, recounts how she was first introduced to Adam One, the leader of God’s Gardeners. The mostly-vegetarian cult was on a mission to rescue Toby from her abusive boss at a fast food restaurant called Secret Burger. Adam One is played by Roger Lloyd Pack, while Toby is played by Diana Quick:

Graeme Gibson is the author of five novels and a collection of stories called “The Bedside Book of Birds.” In November, he will publish a companion book of stories and illustrations, “The Bedside Book of Beasts,” which explores the relationship between predators and their prey. Gibson lives with Atwood in Toronto. Jeffrey Brown also interviewed him in their home:

In the clip below, Gibson reads a passage from “The Bedside Book of Beasts,” recounting an animal encounter from his youth: