Why no one can read Margaret Atwood’s book for 100 years

Can we get a sneak peek?

margaret atwood future library 100 years
(Image credit: Getty)

Margaret Atwood is one of the world’s most renowned modern authors.

As the genius behind the eye-opening The Handmaid’s Tale, which focuses around a totalitarian society where women are seen as property of the state, the writer has been revered by literary enthusiasts around the world.

The author has even had a TV series made of her award-winning novel and seen protestors dress in the iconic red and white outfit of her literature, taking part in political demonstrations.

So fans of hers were desperate to get hold of her new novel The Testaments, which is a follow-up to the events of 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

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However, there’s another little known book that the novelist penned back in 2014 that we’re sure fans would love to delve into.

The only problem? They might not be around when it’s released.

As part of a revolutionary project by Scottish artist Katie Paterson, the book will be released in 2114.

The project Future Library is a 100-year-long project that was started back in 2014, which involves a book being printed each year on material from trees specially planted in the Norwegian forest.

In 2114 the manuscripts will then all be displayed in the Oslo public library.

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Margaret was the first writer to submit material for the project when it started back on 2014 with a piece name Scribbler Moon.

Since then five other writers have participated, including David Mitchell, Sjón, Elif Shafak, Han Kang and Karl Ove Knausgård.

The project, which is known as ‘the world’s most secretive library’, allows writers to submit whatever they want – fiction, poetry, a biography.

MORE: The 8 books you need to add to your 2020 reading list

But what’s pretty crazy is that none of the material will be seen in our lifetime.

It’s likely that only a small percentage of anyone alive today will still be alive to see it when it’s released.

“I wanted to put something in place that travels through stretches of time,” creator Katie said to Stylist magazine.

“The project is moving and changing to become an organically growing artwork year after year, with the authors adding their own chapters to this larger anthology. They’re not read by us, but instead we’re leaving something for people who don’t yet exist, and who will be able to reflect on who those citizens were.”

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


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Email: aleesha.badkar@futurenet.com