I don’t hate the hardcover design; it’s unusual and definitely stands out at the bookstore. And I think the design style somewhat fits her style of writing. (In general, I haven’t read this specific collection of short stories yet.) But I’m not sure it stands out in a good way. If someone had never read Margaret Atwood before, I doubt they would be likely to even pick up this book based on the hardcover design.
The softcover design looks like a modern classic. I also think it’s important that they added “And Other Stories” to the cover/title. The hardcover title and cover are a little vague, and you can’t even really tell if it’s fiction or non-fiction.
The softcover reminds me of two other covers. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor has a comparable (but more subdued) color palate and a similar concept of pieces of a woman’s face. It also bears a strong resemblance to The Female Thing by Laura Kipnis, a non-fiction book about how women can be their own worst enemy in battles for equal rights.
Most likely the design similarities to these two titles are a coincidence, but an interesting one. A Good Man is Hard to Find is a book of short stories, and The Female Thing explores feminism and female rights. Many of Margaret Atwood’s novels and stories explore issues of female identity and roles.