If you haven’t been living under a rock, chances are that you have at the very least heard of Margaret Atwood. She is arguable the most famous Canadian author of all time. Her books have spanned several genres through the years, making it hard to put your finger on which themes exactly fit what her books are about. In celebration of her awesomeness, I’m sharing with you everything that you should know about this amazing author.
She has won a lot of awards. Seriously, Margaret Atwood has won and been nominated for so many award throughout her career that most of us can only dream of that kind of success. And it’s not like the awards were all from a single book or time period, but she has won many things over the course of her career for several different works. Here’s a much abbreviated list of awards she has won:
- Governor General’s Award, 1966, 1985
- Companion of the Order of Canada, 1981
- Arthur C. Clarke Award for best Science Fiction, 1987
- Trillium Book Award, 1991, 1993, 1995
- Booker Prize, 2000
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012
- Gold medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 2015
She has written in various genres. Atwood has not been limited to one genre in her career. She is well-known for many different books that span many different genres. Some of the books and genres include:
- The Handmaid’s Tale: By far her most famous book, this is a dystopian novel that is set in the future.
- Survival: A ThematiSurvival:c Guide to Canadian Literature: Non-fiction, this is Atwood’s journey into understanding why Canadian literature has been underrepresented as well as the historical implications of literature in Canada.
- Dancing Girls: This is a short fiction collection that received the St. Lawrence Award for Fiction a well as the award of The Periodical Distributors of Canada for Short Fiction. This was not her only short story collection either, she has written several.
- Double Persephone: Atwood has actually published more poetry collections than she has published in any other genre.
- Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Dishes: Atwood has also published children’s books, further proving that she is not limited to a singular genre.
She has dabbled in chamber opera. Atwood was commissioned to write the chamber opera Pauline, which premiered in 2014 at Vancouver’s York Theatre. The opera is set in Vancouver during 1913, following the Canadian writer Pauline Johnson’s final days.
She is serious about feminism. As was expressed by her work The Edible Woman and in many works since then, Atwood takes feminism seriously. She has even been outspoken on the use of the word “feminism,” stating that the word should not be applied to writers who work outside of the feminist movement. Her first books came out during the early second wave of the feminist movement and the themes have remained since then.
She invented LongPen. Looking for a way to go to book signings without being physically present for them, Atwood created the idea behind LongPen. The device is a remote signing device that lets authors sign in ink no matter where in the world they area with a tablet and the internet. It also allows for audio and visual calls between the author and the fans during a book signing, negating the need for her to be there in person to have fans’ questions answered.
She always wanted to be a writer. Atwood admitted that she had wanted to be a writer as far back as the age 16. Once she was inspired that it should be her future career, she made it happen. She first studied at the Victoria College in the University of Toronto, where she began her career by publishing her poems in the college literary journal. Once she got started, Atwood never stopped writing.