Books

Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman is getting The Handmaid’s Tale treatment

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman is getting The Handmaid’s Tale treatment

Margaret Atwood’s debut novel is being adapted for television – and it already sounds amazing!

Following hot on the heels of The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace, it has now been confirmed that The Edible Woman – aka Margaret Atwood’s critically-acclaimed debut novel – is being adapted into the star-studded TV series of your dreams.

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That’s right: as reported by Variety, the rights to Margaret Atwood’s brilliant 1969 debut novel, The Edible Woman, have been picked up by Entertainment One. And, somewhat fittingly (the book was published on the cusp of the feminist movement), the show will be helmed by two powerhouse female producers: think Francine Zuckerman of Z Films and Karen Shaw of Quarterlife Crisis Productions.

So what’s the story? Well, for those of you who haven’t read Atwood’s unforgettable masterpiece, The Edible Woman tells the tale of Marian McAlpin, a woman who is thoroughly determined to be ordinary. But when Peter – her perfect boyfriend – proposes, Marian’s world slowly begins to slip into disarray. 

She can’t eat. As in, she literally can’t eat. First meat, then eggs, then vegetables – then… well, then everything.

Essentially, Marian can’t stomach society’s prescribed ideas of womanhood. And she can’t help but feel there’s more to life than quietly awaiting marriage.

As the book’s synopsis states: “Marian didn’t count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can’t stomach…”

There’s no denying that The Edible Woman is a funny, engaging novel about emotional cannibalism, men and women, and desire to be consumed. But will it make for good television?

Well, based on the success of The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace, we have a sneaky suspicion that the answer is a resounding yes. 

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As yet, there’s no word on who will be writing the series – nor who will be starring in it. However, with the likes of Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley attached to The Handmaid’s Tale, we have a feeling that some pretty big names will be vying for the plummy roles of Marian and Peter.

Plus, there’s plenty of other characters to cast, too: who will play Ainsley, Marian’s scatty roommate who decides to have a deliberately fatherless baby? Or constantly pregnant housewife Clara? Or womaniser Len? Or Duncan, the eccentric literature student who bursts unexpectedly into Marian’s life?

We’ll bring you all the details as and when we learn them. In the meantime, though, can someone get working on a Cat’s Eye adaptation? Thanks.

Image: Paperback

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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