Entertainment & Arts

Margaret Atwood puts unseen manuscript in 'Future Library'

Margaret Atwood
Image caption Margaret Atwood's manuscript will not be read by the public in her lifetime

Margaret Atwood has become the first of 100 authors to submit work to a project called the "Future Library".

The project will see one work of fiction from a different writer being added to a collection each year, until they are all published in 2114.

Future Library was created by Scottish artist Katie Paterson and the writings will be kept in trust in Oslo, Norway.

One thousand trees have been planted outside the city for the paper on which the works will eventually be printed.

The Booker Prize-winning author said she was "very honoured" to be part of the endeavour.

"This project at least believes the human race will still be around in 100 years," Atwood said.

"Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes."

Growing collection

Unlike Atwood's best-selling novels, The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin, this work will not be read by the public in her lifetime.

The Future Library Trust, consisting of leading publishers and editors, will every year invite one writer to contribute a new text to the growing collection of unpublished, unread manuscripts.

The writings will be kept in a specially-designed room of the new Deichman Library in Oslo.

The city also gave permission for 1,000 trees to be planted in a forest in nearby Nordmarka, which will be cut down to provide the paper on which the texts will be printed as an anthology of books in 2114.

Paterson said: "It is my dream that Margaret Atwood is writing for Future Library.

"I'd love to know what she has written but I'll never know. If she does write about a future - to a future - I wonder how much these futures are going to align themselves. Will it become real?"

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