When Margaret Atwood was in her twenties, an aunt shared with her a family legend about a possible seventeenth-century forebear: Mary Webster, whose neighbors, in the Puritan town of Hadley, Massachusetts, had accused her of witchcraft.

“But it was before the age of drop hanging, and she didn’t die.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is also about to be serialized on television, in an adaptation, starring Elisabeth Moss, that will stream on Hulu.

Home is a mansion in the Annex neighborhood of Toronto, near the university.

One morning, I accompanied her to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, at the University of Toronto, where she has donated her archive: four hundred and seventy-four boxes’ worth of papers, so far.

Boxes had been rolled in on a cart, and one of them contained Atwood’s handwritten draft.

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