Yesterday I read Margaret Atwood's Bodily Harm. It was published in 1981, and it reminds me of the first thing of hers I read after The Handmaid's Tale, which I believe was Lady Oracle (published1976): enjoyment mixed with dread, as I had the ominous feeling something bad was about to happen to a main character I really liked or sympathized with. It shook me at the time, a bit, since I was expecting something more in line with THT; I'd probably like it a good deal more than I did If I read it (again) now. In the later novels of hers that I've read, the suspense seems to be more part of the plot/story, instead of an impending sense of doom lurking behind the prose and circumstances. I haven't read comprehensively enough to know whether I'm tarring with an extremely wide brush, or not.
I am, however, about half way through The Blind Assassin (published in 2000), and it is more reminiscent in tone of Oryx and Crake, so it's support for my extremely vague thesis about a developmental direction in her work. More will no doubt be revealed, as I work my way through her books.