Margaret Atwood at Sanders Theatre


Old Babes in the Wood:

in conversation with SCOTT TONG

This event will feature an ASL interpreter


March 9, 2023
7:00 PM ET


Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138


$45.00 (book included)

Harvard Book Store and the Writers Speak series at Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard welcome award-winning author MARGARET ATWOOD—author of the 1985 classic The Handmaid’s Tale and the global number one bestselling sequel The Testaments—for a discussion of her highly anticipated short story collection Old Babes in the Wood. She will be joined in conversation by SCOTT TONG—co-host of Here and Now on WBUR Boston Public Radio.


Tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 7th at 7pm and are available online only through the Harvard Box Office. CLICK HERE to access the box office ticket page. 

Tickets are $45.00 and each include one copy of Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood and admission for one.

Books bundled with tickets will be pre-signed by Margaret Atwood, while supplies last, and may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event. Those unable to attend the event that purchased a book will be able to pick up their book at Harvard Book Store after the event as long as a valid admission ticket to the event is shown at the information desk at the bookstore. This offer expires after one month. 

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Sanders Theatre events until further notice:

  • VACCINATION - Keep current with your COVID-19 vaccination.
  • FACE MASKS - Face masks are now optional in most campus spaces. We strongly encourage carrying a mask and voluntarily masking in crowded, indoor settings.
  • STAY HOME IF SICK; TEST IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 EXPOSURE - If you feel unwell, stay home and test. Do not assume your symptoms are a cold or allergies. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, test, even if you do not have symptoms.
  • IF YOU TEST POSITIVE, ISOLATE AND FOLLOW CDC GUIDELINES - Abide by the isolation guidelines listed on
  • STAY INFORMED - The COVID-19 outlook is continually evolving. Venue and individual event guidelines are subject to change. Check back prior to your event date.
  • Please note: Proof of vaccination is not required for entry to Sanders Theatre or Lowell Lecture Hall.

For more information regarding Harvard University's Covid-19 safety protocols, please visit their website here.

Free parking for event attendees is available at the Broadway Garage, located at 7 Felton Street, between Broadway and Cambridge Street. Patrons tell the attendant that they are attending a Sanders Theatre event. They'll receive a swipe ticket which they can use to get back into the garage after the show, and which they can use to exit. Parking is available from 5:00-10:00pm.

This event will feature an ASL interpreter.

About Old Babes in the Wood

Margaret Atwood has established herself as one of the most visionary and canonical authors in the world. This collection of fifteen extraordinary stories—some of which have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine—explore the full warp and weft of experience, speaking to our unique times with Atwood’s characteristic insight, wit and intellect.

The two intrepid sisters of the title story grapple with loss and memory on a perfect summer evening; “Impatient Griselda” explores alienation and miscommunication with a fresh twist on a folkloric classic; and “My Evil Mother” touches on the fantastical, examining a mother-daughter relationship in which the mother purports to be a witch. At the heart of the collection are seven extraordinary stories that follow a married couple across the decades, the moments big and small that make up a long life of uncommon love—and what comes after.

Returning to short fiction for the first time since her 2014 collection Stone Mattress, Atwood showcases both her creativity and her humanity in these remarkable tales which by turns delight, illuminate, and quietly devastate.

Praise for Old Babes in the Wood

“Stunning…Atwood’s latest book, Old Babes in the Woods, is a collection of 15 stories—her first collection since 2014’s Stone Mattress. In it she confronts aging and grief and looking back. The long-married couple Tig and Nell appear in seven stories; the impact of World War II is felt in “Two Scorched Men” and “A Dusty Lunch”; and thoughtful and amusing themes dominate stories like “My Mother Is a Witch.” The range of the stories is wonderfully imaginative, sensitive, wise, funny." —Publishers Weekly

“Atwood is, once again, exacting, mischievous, funny, insightful, virtuoso, and spellbinding. As [the] wry title suggests, women, aging, and nature are at play in this bountiful short-story collection.” —Booklist, starred review

“Honest and artful depictions of aging and loss—when Atwood returns to Nell and Tig, she offers a powerfully affecting quartet of stories in which Nell navigates widowhood—the best of these is the eponymous story that first appeared in the New Yorker.” —Kirkus Reviews

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her novels include Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and won the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry for a decade. Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Photo credit: Luis Mora

Scott Tong
Scott Tong

Scott Tong

Scott Tong has reported from more than a dozen countries as correspondent for Marketplace, from refugee camps in east Africa to shoe factories in eastern China. In 2006, Scott opened Marketplace’s first permanent bureau in China, and served as Shanghai bureau chief. Upon returning to the United States, he began work on his first book: A Village with My Name: A Family History of China’s Opening to the World (University of Chicago Press, 2017). His reporting includes special coverage of the 2016-2017 globalization backlash; Water: The High Price of Cheap; Venezuela’s economic collapse; the triumph of the shareholder value model in the U.S. and the Price of Profits; the challenge of long-term job creation in the United States; the 2011 Japan tsunami and recovery; the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa; and the economics of one child in China.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 7th at 7pm and are available online only through the Harvard Box Office at

Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 5 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. Take a left on Quincy St. and walk two blocks. Memorial Hall will be the large red brick building on your left side. Sanders Theatre is the main auditorium in Memorial Hall.

Co-Sponsored by Writers Speak

Writers Speak brings significant contemporary writers to speak on campus, with the intention of fostering literary conversation.

Co-Sponsored by Mahindra Humanities Center

The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard brings insights from deep, patient, and immersive work in the humanities to bear on the most urgent questions of our time. For more information, visit:

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