Margaret Atwood Statistics

  • As of late 2018, Margaret Atwood’s most popular novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, had sold 8 million copies in English since its 1985 publication.
  • As a protest to increased burning and banning of books, a fireproof version of The Handmaid’s Tale (banned multiple times) sold for $130,000 in 2022, with proceeds going towards the support of free expression.
  • Atwood sold the rights of The Handmaid’s Tale to MGM for a film adaptation (1990) which had a budget of $13 million and grossed just $4.96 million worldwide.
  • Later, rights were resold from MGM to Hulu to create the hit TV series launched in 2017, meaning Atwood would not receive any further rights money.
  • Although she was brought on as an executive consultant for the series, the money she received for the role was not significant.
  • However, she noted that her book sales had since increased.
  • Its sequel, The Testaments, broke Penguin Random House’s record for the highest first-day sales out of their 2019 titles.
  • Although 500,000 copies were initially pressed, they returned to produce more copies two additional times in just over a week following its release.
  • As of 2023, Margaret Atwood has published 17 novels alongside various other book types.
  • Many sources have estimated that her vast collection of works has amassed her a net worth in excess of $20 million.

Margaret Atwood books in order

  • As of 2023, Margaret Atwood has published 17 novels.
  • This is without including Scribbler Moon which will be published in 2114 as part of the Future Library Project.
  • The first novel she ever published was The Edible Woman (1969).
  • As of 2023, her most recently published novel is The Testaments (2019). 
  • She has also produced*:
    • 11 works of short fiction.
    • 6 ebooks.
    • 7 children’s books.
    • 12 works of non-fiction.
    • 6 graphic novel issues.
    • 21 poetry collections.

(*Excluding non-book works such as anthologies as an editor, drawings, television scripts, libretti and audio recordings.)


Year publishedTitleTypePage countAudiobook length
1969The Edible WomanNovel3109h 37m
1972SurfacingNovel1996h 59m
1976Lady OracleNovel34611h 13m
1979Life Before ManNovel36111h 53m
1981Bodily HarmNovel29110h 5m
1985The Handmaid’s TaleNovel31411h 1m
1988Cat’s EyeNovel46216h 31m
1993The Robber BrideNovel52820h 12m
1996Alias GraceNovel46815h 57m
2000The Blind AssassinNovel63718h 27m
2003Oryx and CrakeNovel38910h 30m
2005The PenelopiadNovel1983h 20m
2009The Year of the FloodNovel43114h 4m
2013MaddAddamNovel39413h 24m
2015The Heart Goes LastNovel32012h 11m
2016Hag-SeedNovel3018h 11m
2019The TestamentsNovel42213h 18m

Short fiction

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1977Dancing GirlsShort fiction243
1983Murder in the DarkShort fiction112
1983Bluebeard’s EggShort fiction244
1991Wilderness TipsShort fiction228
1992Good BonesShort fiction153
1994Good Bones and Simple MurdersShort fiction165
1996The Labrador FiascoShort fiction41
2006The TentShort fiction159
2006Moral DisorderShort fiction240
2014Stone MattressShort fiction273
2023Old Babes in the WoodShort fiction272


Year publishedTitleTypePage count
2012I’m Starved For You: Positron, Episode OneEbook52
2012Choke Collar: Positron, Episode TwoEbook51
2013Erase Me: Positron, Episode ThreeEbook53
2013The Heart Goes Last: Positron, Episode FourEbook64
2013The Happy Zombie Sunrise HomeEbookN/A
2022My Evil MotherEbook32

Children’s books

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1978Up in the TreeChildren’s book32
1980Anna’s PetChildren’s book32
1990For the BirdsChildren’s book54
1995Princess Prunella and the Purple PeanutChildren’s book32
2003Rude Ramsay and the Roaring RadishesChildren’s book32
2006Bashful Bob and Doleful DorindaChildren’s book32
2011Wandering Wenda and Widow Wallop’s Wunderground WasheryChildren’s book28


Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1972Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian LiteratureNon-fiction320
1977Days of the RebelsNon-fiction128
1982Second Words: Selected Critical ProseNon-fiction444
1986Through the One-Way MirrorNon-fiction3
1995Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian LiteratureNon-fiction136
2002Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on WritingNon-fiction198
2004Moving Targets: Writing with Intent, 1982–2004Non-fiction440
2005Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose 1983–2005Non-fiction427
2008Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of WealthNon-fiction203
2011In Other Worlds: SF and the Human ImaginationNon-fiction274
2015On Writers and WritingNon-fiction256
2022Burning Questions: Essays & Occasional Pieces 2004-2021Non-fiction496

Graphic novels

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
2016Angel Catbird, Vol. 1Graphic novel80
2017Angel Catbird, Volume 2: To Castle CatulaGraphic novel102
2017Angel Catbird, Volume 3: The Catbird RoarsGraphic novel104
2018War Bears #1Graphic novel32
2018War Bears #2Graphic novel32
2018War Bears #3Graphic novel32

Poetry Collections

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1961Double PersephonePoetry collection16
1964The Circle GamePoetry collection99
1965ExpeditionsPoetry collectionN/A
1966Speeches for Doctor FrankensteinPoetry collection45
1968The Animals in That CountryPoetry collection69
1970The Journals of Susanna MoodiePoetry collection80
1970Procedures for UndergroundPoetry collection79
1971Power PoliticsPoetry collection62
1974You Are HappyPoetry collection96
1976Selected PoemsPoetry collectionN/A
1978Two-Headed PoemsPoetry collection115
1981True StoriesPoetry collection103
1983Love Songs of a TerminatorPoetry collectionN/A
1983Snake PoemsPoetry collection16
1984InterlunarPoetry collection103
1986Selected Poems II: 1976–1986Poetry collection160
1990Selected Poems 1966–1984Poetry collection320
1995Morning in the Burned HousePoetry collection127
1998Eating Fire: Selected Poems, 1965–1995Poetry collection384
2007The DoorPoetry collection132
2020DearlyPoetry collection124

The Handmaid’s Tale popularity over time

  • As of 2023, The Handmaid’s Tale’s maximum popularity is 3.25 times lower than the previous year.
  • Since the release of The Handmaid’s Tale TV series on Hulu, its overall popularity* has soared.
  • Its maximum popularity jumped 18.50 times higher than in 2016 after its first season in 2017.
  • For the given data, The Handmaid’s Tale was at its most popular during 2019.
  • Overall, its popularity has continued to remain at higher levels than those seen prior to the release of the TV series.
YearAverage popularityMax. popularity

A graph is given below to show the popularity of The Handmaid’s Tale over time:

*Popularity data from Google trends

Margaret Atwood FAQ

How many books has Margaret Atwood written?

  • As of 2023, Margaret Atwood has written 80 books (including novels, short fiction, ebooks, children’s books, non-fiction works, graphic novels and poetry collections).
  • This number includes the novel Scribbler Moon which will be published in 2114 but excludes the non-fiction work Through the One-Way Mirror which was an article.

When did Margaret Atwood write The Handmaid’s Tale?

  • Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985.

Why did Margaret Atwood write The Handmaid’s Tale?

  • The Handmaid’s Tale was written by Margaret Atwood as a cautionary story on the effects of extreme religious beliefs and the worsening of human rights for women.
  • When writing the book, she drew inspiration from historical events and trends in society in order to demonstrate the importance of standing up for individual freedoms.

Where is The Handmaid’s Tale set?

  • The Handmaid’s Tale is mostly set within Boston, in an area that was previously Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • However, the storyline also expands to other regions within Gilead (which is The Handmaid’s Tale’s dystopian society) that encompasses a major area which was formerly part of the United States.

What is The Handmaid’s Tale about?

  • The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel about a dystopian society in which women are suppressed and their reproductive roles are seen as a principal duty.
  • The story revolves around a handmaid called Offred as she tries to navigate her way out of Gilead’s oppressive regime, in which she has little chance of breaking free.

What are the colonies in The Handmaid’s Tale?

  • The colonies in The Handmaid’s Tale are radioactive and heavily polluted zones where the regime’s most undervalued individuals are sent in order to perform dangerous labor in the face of death.
  • They are used as a method of punishment in order to prevent the most politically and socially rebellious individuals under Gilead’s regime from gaining influence.

What is an Eye in The Handmaid’s Tale?

  • An Eye in The Handmaid’s Tale is another word for a member of Gilead’s secret police force.
  • Eyes are known for strictly enforcing the regime’s rules through fear and/or intimidation. They also perform general surveillance and are responsible for reporting dissent and rebellion.

What is Oryx and Crake about?

  • Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake is about a post-apocalyptic world that is devastated by bio-engineered plagues and destruction to the environment.
  • The last human survivor within the story, Snowman, reflects on the past and the events that led to the collapse of civilization for humans.