Books  |  Nov 29, 2012

Margaret Atwood awarded Companion of Literature

Margaret Atwood has been awarded the title of Companion of Literature.

Atwood was presented with her Companion’s scroll at Canada House, London, at a special awards evening on 28th November. She signed her name in a book beneath the signatures of all other authors who have held the same title.

Atwood chose to sign using Charles Dickens’s quill and after the signing, Atwood spoke to Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer of The Sunday Times. She discussed her childhood and formative years as a writer, among other themes, and took questions from the audience.

The Companion of Literature is the highest honour in the Royal Society of Literature. Other current Companions include Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney and Alice Munro. Established in 1961, the title has also been held by Samuel Beckett, Muriel Spark and Evelyn Waugh.

Atwood has been writing since she was sixteen, and has penned over fifty books, including The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin, which was awarded the 2000 Man Booker Prize.

Following the critically acclaimed Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, the third book in Atwood’s trilogy, MadAddam, is to be published in 2013.