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Libraries Report Staggering Waitlists for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Still from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ teaser via Hulu

Editor's Note:

We’re speculating about the cause of the rush on The Handmaid’s Tale, diving into a profile of Margaret Atwood, and more in today’s roundup. Time for your Daily Blunt? Sure is.

In libraries across America, readers are clamoring for a copy of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic, presumably to stay ahead of the new Hulu series that debuts April 27. In New York City alone, more than 500 people are patiently waiting their turn, and libraries in Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, and other major cities are likewise reporting a queue that could end up being  hundreds deep. While the NYPL declines to speculate on the impetus that’s driving people to reserve the book in such great numbers, HuffPo feels comfortable ascribing it to the current political climate, which even the most zen among us might describe as “dire.”

Meanwhile The New Yorker takes even more careful aim, sketching a profile of Atwood as a “Prophet of Dystopia.” Amid the expected reel of career highlights and more recent revelations from the bestselling author on the subject of American politics (“If the election of Donald Trump were fiction, Atwood maintains, it would be too implausible to satisfy readers”), this profile contains a lovely anecdote about Atwood’s penchant for palmistry. Can you imagine letting someone this keenly observant anywhere near your lifeline — and are you strong enough to handle hearing whatever she sees there?

Stephen King has pissed off the clowns, and he knows it. The author acknowledged in a tweet this week that “good” clowns everywhere are likely to be fuming about the resurgence of anti-clown sentiment that’s sure to come along with the new adaptation of It. King tried to excuse the effects of his masterpiece on society’s most maligned class of entertainers: “Sorry, most are great,” he wrote, “BUT … kids have always been scared of clowns. Don’t kill the messengers for the message.” That may sound like he’s nervous about retaliation, but really it’s a sort of ethical test for all clownfolk — what “good” clown would ever think of doing him harm?

It’s Ayn Rand’s world; we’re all just stuck living in it. Read along as The Guardian explores the objectivist author’s clout in twenty-first-century power games, from the White House (President Trump claims to love The Fountainhead, despite the persistence of urban legends claiming he can’t read) to Silicon Valley, where Randians run rampant. “When the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, had to choose an avatar for his Twitter account in 2015, he opted for the cover of The Fountainhead,” their article claims. “Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first major investor and a rare example of a man who straddles both Silicon Valley and Trumpworld, is a Randian. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs is said by his Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, to have regarded Atlas Shrugged as one of his ‘guides in life.'” If you want to understand our times, just pay Ayn a visit at your local library — it will give you something to freak out over until The Handmaid’s Tale is back in circulation.