Author Margaret Atwood is more understanding than a lot of fans about Kylie Jenner's Handmaid's Tale-themed party — although she had no idea who Kylie Jenner was when she heard about the uproar.
In June, Jenner threw an elaborate birthday bash for BFF Anastasia "Stassie" Karanikolaou in "Gilead," the fictional setting of the dystopian novel where women become reproductive slaves. Atwood’s 1985 book became an Emmy-winning TV series on Hulu in 2017 and counts Jenner as one of its many famous fans.
Attendees at the party wore matching Handmaid’s red robe costumes and drank cocktails inspired by the show like "Under His Eye Tequila." Atwood was asked for her thoughts on Jenner’s party in a 26 November interview with Vulture.
"Oh, Kylie Jenner," she replied. "I had to look up who Kylie Jenner was, I’m so old."
She continued, "My readers deal with those things. They notice them before I do. I expect that Kylie Jenner heard from some of them along the lines of 'We appreciate the thought, but you kind of missed it.’ There were some themed tequila."
That's a polite way of putting it. Jenner was slammed as tone-deaf and ignorant for not understanding the oppressive themes at the center of The Handmaid's Tale. However, Atwood believes Jenner, like many fans, was likely "well-meaning" with her intentions.
"People often do this in a very well-meaning way; they’re not trying to be unpleasant," noted Atwood. "It has been the occasion when I’ve been speaking somewhere and I will be greeted with Handmaid’s Tale cupcakes because the person doing the catering is such a fan. Will I turn up my nose at such cupcakes? No, I will not. I will not do that."
Atwood was asked if she would eat the cupcake.
"That depends on my relationship to sugar at the moment," she quipped. "If I were in a sugar-eating moment, I would certainly eat the cupcake."
The author said she has a collection of Handmaid’s Tale artifacts, like LEGO handmaids and commanders and a piece of embroidery that says "F**K AUNT LYDIA."
"So there are these things that appear, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s people playing in the sandbox. I’m happy to have people playing in the sandbox, although sometimes they get a little off, but that is to be expected," she explained. "There are people right now writing military histories of Gilead, and I look forward to reading them because I’m not going to do that."