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Writing Dystopia Now

From Nigeria to Pakistan we speak to leading authors about writing dystopian literature today.

From Nigeria to Pakistan we speak to leading authors about writing dystopian literature today.

From critically acclaimed novel to award winning television series, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale moved the genre of feminist dystopia from the margins to the mainstream. But now, in the age of #Metoo and #TimesUp, how do you tackle the oppression of women without being exploitative? We speak to two writers championed by Atwood, the British debut novelist Sophie Mackintosh and Pakistani writer Bina Shah about their novels The Water Cure and Before She Sleeps.

Picture a near-future with neon cities filled with robots, crime, hackers and anti-heroes- this is Cyberpunk. From American novels to Japanese manga and anime, Kumiko Saito explains how the futuristic sci-fi genre blends high technology with low life to create cult stories with enduring appeal.

They call it Mad Horse City – it’s a place where your space determines who you are and how you dream. We take a trip to Lagos, Nigeria in the year 2115 with the writer Wale Lawal to discover an African vision of dystopia.

Climate change, civil war and an America set apart from the rest of the world is the setting of the award winning novel American War. We speak to its author Omar El Akkad about how his futuristic novel reflects America today and why it encourages western readers to put themselves in the shoes of the world’s displaced peoples.

Presented by Tina Daheley

Image: Supporters of Planned Parenthood dressed as characters from 'The Handmaid's Tale,' hold a rally as they protest the US Senate Republicans' healthcare bill outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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