Margaret Atwood

Novelist, literary critic and poet
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Biography

Margaret Atwood is an internationally recognised novelist, poet, literary critic, feminist and political activist.

Her books have been published in more than thirty languages and include The Handmaid's Tale (McClelland & Stewart 1985), which was made into a film of the same name; The Blind Assassin (McClelland & Stewart 2000), which won the Booker Prize; and Oryx and Crake (Bloomsbury 2003), shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for fiction.

Margaret's The Circle Game (1964) won the Governor General's award for poetry and her most well known collection is The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970), in which she writes poems from the view point of a historical 19th century Canadian pioneer on the frontier.

Born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1939, Margaret began writing when she was sixteen. In 1961, after winning the E J Pratt Medal for her privately-printed book of poems, Double Persephone, she began graduate studies at Harvard's Radcliffe College with a Woodrow Wilson fellowship and obtained her Master's degree a year later. She has taught at the University of British Columbia (1965), Sir George Williams University in Montreal (1967-68), the University of Alberta (1969-79), York University in Toronto (1971-72) and New York University, where she was Berg professor of English.

Margaret is married to the writer Graeme Gibson, and they have a daughter. She divides her time between Toronto and Pelee Island, Ontario.

Her most recently published non-fiction work, In Other Worlds is Margaret Atwood’s account of her relationship with the literary form we have come to know as “science fiction.” Her latest novel, The Heart Goes Last, was published in September 2015.

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The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story.

Angela Carter
on The Handmaid's Tale

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