Atwood’s Payback: the movie

Forget fiction, the novelist hits big with her financial writing

Margaret Atwood’s unlikely late-career metamorphosis from award-winning novelist to economics guru continues apace. Now the National Film Board of Canada announces it’s making a documentary based on her uncannily timed non-fiction book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. Published last fall, just as world financial markets plummeted into crisis, Atwood’s witty account of the history of borrowing and lending was lauded from London (the Economist loved it) to Manhattan (so did the New York Review of Books). But does the subject lend itself to film? Jennifer Baichwal, who is signed on to direct, claims Payback is “brimming with cinematic possibilities.”

Screen Daily

The Canadian Press

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