Margaret Atwood

Books Karolina Sutton, +44 (0)20 7393 4428 Email Karolina Sutton

The Heart Goes Last

UK & Comm Bloomsbury Publishing (Ed. Alexandra Pringle)
UK & Comm Virago Press (Ed. Lennie Goodings)
Aug 2015

A sinister, wickedly funny novel about a near-future in which the lawful are locked up and the lawless roam free.

Living in their car, surviving on tips, Charmaine and Stan are in a desperate state. So, when they see an advertisement for Consilience, a ‘social experiment’ offering stable jobs and a home of their own, they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month – swapping their home for a prison cell. At first, all is well. But then, unknown to each other, Stan and Charmaine develop passionate obsessions with their  ‘Alternates,’ the couple that occupy their house when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire begin to take over. 


Sophie Baker manages the translation rights for The Heart Goes Last

Translation Rights Sold

Chinese Complex
Ten Points Publishing
Chinese Simple
Mainland China
Henan University Press
Prometheus/Bert Bakker
Eesti Raamat
Editions Laffont
Berlin Verlag
Psichogios Publ Co Greece
Kinneret Zmora Bitan
Ponte Alle Grazie SpA
Wisdom Publishing Co.
Zvaigzne ABC Publishers
Aschehoug & Co
Wielka Literara
World Portuguese
Bertrand Editora
Editura Art
Dogan Kitapcilik

The Heart Goes Last is at once thrilling, funny, grim - and shockingly convincing.

Erica Wagner
Harper's Bazaar

It’s gloriously mad cap […] you only pause in your laughter when you realise that, in its constituent parts, the world she depicts here is all too horribly plausible.

Stephanie Merritt
The Observer

It is not a soothing read, although a compelling and darkly comic one - serious and sinister, subtle and shrewd.

Jackie McGlone
The Herald

Awfully good

Hephzibah Anderson
Mail on Sunday

Dazzling and hilarious […] She writes with a light touch on the darkest of subjects […] A writer at the height of her powers cutting loose and having some fun Naomi Alderman
The Spectator

Mordant humour and scouring satire

Randy Boyagoda
New Statesman

She is the undisputed queen of dystopian fiction and Margaret Atwood's latest offering is as deliciously disturbing as her dedicated fanbase could hope for.

Daily Express

A powerful novel that shows us the worst excesses of where our society could lead

Rhian Drinkwater
SFX Magazine

Readable, fast-paced and packed with disturbing imagery, this book will win Atwood a new generation of readers.

Serena Kutchinsky

Brilliantly done, as gripping as it is chilling. It is also extremely funny. It is hard to think of many writers who could incorporate a partial reworking of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a narrative strand that involves sexbots, blue teddy bears and a lookalike Elvis who wets his pants. It is hard to think, too, of many writers who could explore such deadly serious themes — the struggle between freedom and security, the excesses of capitalism, the erosion of privacy — with such extraordinary lightness of touch. But this is Margaret Atwood. She has a brain the size of a (dystopian) planet. And her prose sings.

Christina Patterson
The Sunday Times

Atwood, despite that mysterious smile, always provokes [...] The Heart Goes Last is a novel to think about carefully, even if you're tempted to hurl it against a wall. I loved it.

John Sutherland
The Times

As savvy as ever

Eileen Battersby
Irish Times

Atwood had me feeling like I was blindfolded on a rollercoaster. And I just didn't want to get off.

Fiona Embleton

An imagination without equal.

Johanna Thomas-Corr
Evening Standard

Sheer fun, with a sharp edge.

Stuart Kelly
Scotland on Sunday

Atwood has long reigned over magical realism fiction - The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin are set texts for aspiring feminists. Her new novel deserves equal fanfare


Clever, witty, speculative dystopian fiction I found pretty disturbing.

Fanny Blake
Woman & Home

Darkly funny and tremendously thought-provoking, it is a joy to read.

Sarah Franklin
S Magazine, Sunday Express

No living writer does dystopia with more panache than the incomparable Margaret Atwood.

O - The Oprah Magazine

Atwood is the consummate storyteller, slinging out well-aimed barbs as she reels her readers in to this tale of suburban utopia gone horribly wrong... There’s a good deal of sly wit... But despite all that it has a deadly serious message: we humans are all too easily lulled into a soporific acceptance leaving us wide open for exploitation. And its ending is a triumph.

Susan Osborne,

The pounding of the heart echoes throughout Margaret Atwood’s engrossing 56th book, beating in fear that it will soon beat no more... This visceral study of desperation and desire journeys into the dark heart of greed, exploitation and brutality... It is filled with passages of great intellectual and emotional acuity, appealing both to the head and to the heart.

Anita Sethi
The Observer