What will humanity be reading in a century? Will paper books still be read? Visionary author Margaret Atwood is the first to contribute a secret story to Future Library, a unique 100-year artwork.
Designed by Scottish artist Katie Paterson, Future Library is a real place, created for Oslo, Norway. Part of this project is a forest of 1000 trees, planted in Nordmarka, near Oslo, which will mature in 100 years to provide paper on which to print this unique anthology. A room in Oslo’s new library, made from trees from the same forest, will store these future books. Until 2114, visitors to this room can wonder at what kinds of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and stories the library will encompass, and create these potential works in their minds. Imagine growing a book over a hundred years!
A different author contributor will be honoured each year. When asked, Atwood declined to reveal anything about her story, because secrecy is “part of the deal.”
“I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.”
In this video, Margaret Atwood calls any book “a communication across space and time.” As a longtime fan and admirer of Atwood’s writing, I just wish I could live to read her story.