Women’s History Month: Margaret Atwood (Literature)

Atwood in 2015
Photo by Larry D. Moore
Author Margaret Atwood at the 2015 Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas, United States.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood CH CC OOnt CH FRSC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. 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, as well as a number of small press editions of both poetry and fiction. Atwood has won numerous awards and honors for her writing, including the Booker Prize (twice), Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General’s Award, Franz Kafka Prize, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards. A number of her works have been adapted for film and television, increasing her exposure. Atwood’s works encompass a variety of themes including gender and identity, religion and myth, the power of language, climate change, and “power politics”. Many of her poems are inspired by myths and fairy tales which interested her from a very early age. Atwood is a founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize and Writers’ Trust of Canada. She is also a Senior Fellow of Massey College, Toronto. Atwood is also the inventor and developer of the LongPen and associated technologies that facilitate remote robotic writing of documents.

A brief bio: Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the second of three children of Carl Edmund Atwood, an entomologist, and Margaret Dorothy (née Killam), a former dietician and nutritionist from Woodville, Nova Scotia. Because of her father’s research in forest entomology, Atwood spent much of her childhood in the backwoods of northern Quebec, and travelling back and forth between Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto.

Her website: http://margaretatwood.ca/

Margaret Atwood has supported the following charities:

  • 21st Century Leaders
  • Aid Still Required
  • Artists Against Racism
  • Bird Studies Canada
  • Equality Now
  • Markets Initiative
  • National Literacy Trust
  • PEN
  • Whatever It Takes

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