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 (1985), which was recently adapted for the critically acclaimed Hulu television series; The Blind Assassin (2000), which won the Booker Prize; and Oryx and Crake (2003), which was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent novel, Hag-Seed, a retelling of The Tempest, was longlisted for the Baileys Women’s 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.

She is the recipient of many awards, including the PEN Pinter Prize, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, the Struga Poetry Award, the National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, and the German Book Trade’s Peace Prize.

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

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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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