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  1. Margaret Eleanor Atwood CC OOnt CH FRSC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor.. Since 1961, she has published 18 books of poetry, 18 novels, 11 books of non-fiction, nine collections of short fiction, eight children's books, and two graphic novels, and a number of small press editions of both poetry and fi

  2. Margaret Eleanor Atwood CH CC OOnt FRSC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian writer. She is best known for writing novels. She has also published 15 books of poetry. The Edible Woman was her first novel, published in 1969. Her novel The Handmaid's Tale was the first winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, in 1987.

    • 1961–present
    • Margaret Eleanor Atwood, November 18, 1939 (age 81), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    • Early life and education
    • Writing
    • Education
    • Locations
    • Work
    • Administration

    Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her masters degree from Radcliffe College.

    Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest book of short stories is Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014). Her MaddAddam trilogy the Giller and Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013) is currently being adapted for HBO. The Door is her latest volume of poetry (2007). Her most recent non-fiction books are Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Her novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; and The Robber Bride, Cats Eye, The Handmaids Tale coming soon as a TV series with MGM and Hulu and The Penelopiad. Her new novel, The Heart Goes Last, was published in September 2015. Forthcoming in 2016 are Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeares play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, and Angel Catbird with a cat-bird superhero a graphic novel with co-creator Johnnie Christmas. (Dark Horse.) Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

    Education: Victoria College, University of Toronto, B.A., 1961; Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Mass., A.M., 1962; Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., 1962-63, 1965-67.

    Places of Residence: Ottawa, 1939-45; Sault Ste. Marie, 1945; Toronto, 1946-61; Boston, Mass., 1961-63; Toronto, 1963-64; Vancouver, 1964-65; Boston, Mass.1965-67; Montreal, 1967-68; Edmonton, 1968-70; England (London), France, Italy, 1970-71; Toronto, 1971-73; Alliston, Ontario, 1973-80; Toronto, 1980-83; England, Germany, 1983-84; Alabama, 1985; Toronto, 1986-91; France, 1992; Toronto, 1992-present.

    Employment: Lecturer in English, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1964-65; Instructor in English, Sir George Williams University, Montreal, 1967-68; University of Alberta, 1969-70; Assistant Professor of English, York University, Toronto, 1971-72; Writer-In-Residence, University of Toronto, 1972-73; M.F.A. Honorary Chair, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1985; Berg Chair, New York University, 1986; Writer-In-Residence, Macquarie Univ., Australia, 1987; Writer-In-Residence, Trinity Univ., San Antonio, Texas, 1989.

    Associations: Margaret Atwood was President of the Writers Union of Canada from May 1981 to May 1982, and was President of International P.E.N., Canadian Centre (English Speaking) from 1984-1986. She and Graeme Gibson are the Joint Honourary Presidents of the Rare Bird Society within BirdLife International. Ms. Atwood is also a current Vice-President of PEN International.

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  4. LC Class. PR9199.3.A8 P46 2005. The Penelopiad is a novella by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It was published in 2005 as part of the first set of books in the Canongate Myth Series where contemporary authors rewrite ancient myths. In The Penelopiad, Penelope reminisces on the events of the Odyssey, life in Hades, Odysseus, Helen of Troy, and ...

    • Early Life
    • Early Poetry and Teaching Career
    • Forays Into Fiction
    • Feminist Novels
    • Speculative Fiction and Beyond
    • Literary Styles and Themes
    • Sources

    Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She was the second and middle child of Carl Atwood, a forest entomologist, and Margaret Atwood, née Killam, a former dietician. Her father’s research meant that she grew up with something of an unconventional childhood, traveling frequently and spending a lot of time in rural regions. Even as a child, though, Atwood’s interests foreshadowed her career. Although she didn’t start attending regular schools until she was 12 years old, Atwood was a devoted reader from an early age. She read a wide variety of material, from more traditional literature to fairy tales and mysteries to comic books. As early as she was reading, she was writing too, drafting her first stories and children’s plays at the age of six. In 1957, she graduated from Leaside High School in Leaside, Toronto. After high school, she attended the University of Toronto, where she published articles and poems in the school’s literary journal and participated in a theatric...

    In 1961, Atwood’s first book of poetry, Double Persephone, was published. The collection was well-received by the literary community, and it won the E.J. Pratt Medal, named after one of the foremost Canadian poets of the modern era. During this early part of her career, Atwood focused predominantly on her poetry work, as well as teaching. During the 1960s, Atwood continued working on her poetry while also working in academia. Over the course of the decade, she had teaching stints at three separate Canadian universities, joining the English departments. She began as a lecturer in English at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, from 1964 to 1965. From there, she went on to Sir George Williams University in Montreal, where she was an instructor in English from 1967 to 1968. She ended the decade teaching from 1969 to 1970 at the University of Alberta. Atwood’s teaching career did not slow her creative output in the slightest. The years 1965 and 1966 were particularly prolific,...

    For the first decade of her writing career, Atwood focused exclusively on publishing poetry and did so to great success. In 1969, however, she shifted gears, publishing her first novel, The Edible Woman. The satirical novel focuses on a young woman’s growing awareness in a heavily consumeristic, structured society, foreshadowing many of the themes that Atwood would be known for in the coming years and decades. By 1971, Atwood had moved to work in Toronto, spending the next couple of years teaching at universities there. She taught at York University for the 1971 to 1972 academic year, then became a writer in residence at the University of Toronto the following year, ending in the spring of 1973. Although she would continue to teach for several more years, these positions would be her last teaching jobs at Canadian universities. In the 1970s, Atwood published three major novels: Surfacing (1972), Lady Oracle (1976), and Life Before Man (1979). All three of these novels continued deve...

    Atwood's most famous work, The Handmaid’s Tale, was published in 1985 and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Governor General's Award; it also was a finalist for the 1986 Booker Prize, which recognizes the best English-language novel that reaches publication in the United Kingdom. The novel is a work of speculative fiction, set in a dystopian alternate historywhere the United States has become a theocracy called Gilead that forces fertile women into a subservient role as “handmaids” to bear children for the rest of society. The novel has endured as a modern classic, and in 2017, the streaming platform Hulu began airing a television adaptation. Her next novel, Cat’s Eye, was also well-received and highly praised, becoming a finalist for both the 1988 Governor General's Award and the 1989 Booker Prize. Throughout the 1980s, Atwood did continue teaching, although she spoke openly about her hopes that she would eventually have a successful (and lucrative) enough writing career to le...

    Atwood turned her attention to speculative fictionand to real-life technologies in the 21st century. In 2004, she came up with the idea for remote writing technology that would enable a user to write in real ink from a remote location. She founded a company to develop and produce this technology, which came to be called the LongPen, and was able to use it herself to participate in book tours that she could not attend in person. In 2003, she published Oryx and Crake, a post-apocalyptic speculative fiction novel. It ended up being the first in her “MaddAddam” trilogy, which also included 2009’s The Year of the Flood and 2013’s MaddAddam. The novels are set in a post-apocalyptic scenario in which humans have pushed science and technology to alarming places, including genetic modification and medical experimentation. During this time, she also experimented with non-prose works, writing a chamber opera, Pauline, in 2008. The project was a commission from the City Opera of Vancouver and i...

    One of the most notable underlying themes in Atwood’s work is her approach to gender politics and feminism. Although she tends not to label her works “feminist,” they are the subject of much discussion in terms of their depictions of women, gender roles, and the intersection of gender with other elements in society. Her works explore different depictions of femininity, different roles for women, and what pressures societal expectations create. Her most famous work in this arena is, of course, The Handmaid’s Tale, which depicts a totalitarian, religious dystopia that openly subjugates women and explores relationships between men and women (and between different castes of women) within that power dynamic. These themes date all the way back to Atwood’s early poetry, though; indeed, one of the most consistent elements to Atwood’s work is her interest in exploring dynamics of power and gender. Particularly in the latter portion of her career, Atwood’s style has slanted a little bit towar...

    Cooke, Nathalie. Margaret Atwood: A Biography. ECW Press, 1998.
    Howells, Coral Ann. Margaret Atwood. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996.
    Nischik, Reingard M. Engendering Genre: The Works of Margaret Atwood. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2009.
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