The song cycle, with music by Jake Heggie and sung by baritone Joshua Hopkins, was inspired by Hopkins’ sister, who was murdered by her ex-partner on the same day that he murdered two of his other exes. When she got the request, Atwood wasn’t sure she could fulfill it. But “she ended up writing the sequence in one session. ‘I made the ‘sisters’ plural because they are indeed – unhappily – very plural. Sisters, daughters, mothers. So many,’ she said.” – The Guardian (UK)

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