Atwood: Handmaid's Tale has become a meme in US politics

Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. She is one of the world’s most successful authors.

One of her most well known books, The Handmaid's Tale, is a speculative fiction; a dystopian vision of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the USA.

She tells BBC HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur that one of the reasons the book still has resonance is that "the religious right in the United States has not faded away".

Asked if in hindsight she had been too negative when she wrote the book she said: “I don't think I was worried enough. I think if you're looking state by state some of the laws they're putting in right now I probably wasn't quite worried enough.”

She adds “The Handmaid's Tale has actually become a meme in US politics. You'll find it turning up on Twitter.

"Somebody has to tell the Republicans the Handmaid's Tale is not a blueprint," she said.

Watch more clips at HARDtalk's website.

You can see the interview in full on HARDtalk on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel on Tuesday 8 August 2017 and on BBCiPlayer (UK only).