Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on November 18, 1939. She is an environmental activist in addition to being a novelist, poet, and businesswoman. Margaret Atwood writes science fiction, dystopian and historical fiction.

In 1957 she graduated high school in Toronto, then attended the Victoria College at the University of Toronto beginning at the age of sixteen. This is when she decided she wanted to write professionally. Atwood began published poetry and articles in her college paper. In 1961, she graduated with a Bachelor Degree in English with honours and a minor in philosophy and French. Also in 1961 she won the E. J. Pratt Medal for her privately printed book of poetry. At this time, Atwood began graduate studies at Harvard's Radcliffe College with a Woodrow Wilson fellowship. In 1962 she had a master's degree. Atwood also started her doctoral studies at Harvard, but didn't finish her dissertation on "The English Metaphysical Romance".

She was an English Professor at the University of British Columbia in 1965, Sir George Williams University in 1967 to 1968, the University of Alberta from 1969 to 1970, York University from 1971 to 1972, and the University of Alabama in 1985. Atwood was also a Berg Professor of English at the New York University.

Although her books bring to light feminism, she doesn't think her writing actually falls under that framework, since she would have had to choose to write that way consciously. When critics try to place her books such as "The Handmaid's Tale" into the category of science fiction, Atwood argued that she wrote them as speculative fiction. Her stance is that science fiction has monsters and spacemen, whereas speculative fiction could actually happen.

The LongPen or a method of remote robotic writing was a concept designed by Margaret Atwood in 2004. With this method, a person can write in ink anywhere in the world by using a tablet PC and the internet. This technology allows her to do remote book signings. She formed Unotchit, a company that produces and distributes the technology. The company shifted to businesses and legal transactions in 2011.

In 2014, a chamber opera written by Margaret Atwood was performed at Vancouver's York Theatre. The opera is the story of Pauline Johnson, a Canadian writer, and performer set in 1913.

Margaret Atwood was very Anti-American during the 1960s and 1970s. When Canada and the United States were debating on the free trade agreement, Atwood spoke against the measure. She is a staunch environmentalist and was an honorary co-president of the Rare Bird Club with her partner, Graeme Gibson. When the University of Toronto tried to put in an artificial turf field she threatened to cut them out of her will.

Future Library Project was conceived by Katie Paterson in 2014. The idea is to gather an original story from popular writers every year until 2114. The manuscripts will be held in a specially designed room in Oslo. Margaret Atwood wrote Scribbler Moon as the first contribution. She laughingly thinks that in one hundred years when the book is finally read, they will need a paleo-anthropologist to translate the story.

The Handmaid’s Tale

"The Handmaid's Tale" was published in 1985 by Margaret Atwood. It is a dystopian novel and a work of speculative fiction. The story is set in an alternate time. The United States of America has fallen under a military dictatorship. The country is called the Republic of Gilead. The change begins with a staged terrorist attack that kills the President and Congress. Then the Constitution … [Read more...]