The Heart Goes Last

A Novel

Publisher: Emblem Editions
Imagining a world where citizens take turns as prisoners and jailers, the prophetic Margaret Atwood delivers a hilarious yet harrowing tale about liberty, power, and the irrepressibility of the human appetite.

     Several years after the world's brutal economic collapse, Stan and Charmaine, a married couple struggling to stay afloat, hear about the Positron Project in the town of Consilience, an experiment in cooperative living that appears to be the answer to their problems - to living in their car, to the lousy jobs, to the vandalism and the gangs, to their piled-up debt. There's just one drawback: once inside Consilience, you don't get out. After weighing their limited options, Stan and Charmaine sign up, and soon they find themselves involved in the town's strategy for economic stability: a pervasive prison system, whereby each citizen lives a double life, as a prisoner one month, and a guard or town functionary the next. At first, Stan and Charmaine enjoy their newfound prosperity. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who shares her civilian house, her actions set off an unexpected chain of events that leave Stan running for his life. Brilliant, dark, and provocative, The Heart Goes Last is a compelling futuristic vision that will drive readers to the edge of their seats.


A National Post Best Book — 2015
Globe and Mail 100 — 2015

• "Atwood's prose miraculously balances humor, outrage and beauty. A simple description becomes both chilling and sublime." New York Times Book Review

From the Hardcover edition.