Margaret Atwood

Author of The Handmaid's Tale, amongst others

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"Margaret Atwood, CC OOnt FRSC is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, and environmental activist. She has published 17 books of poetry, 16 novels, 10 books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children’s books, and one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction. Atwood has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize five times, winning in 2000 for The Blind Assassin. She is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Prince of Asturias Award for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She has been a finalist for the Governor General's Award 10 times, winning in 1966 for The Circle Game and 1985 for The Handmaid's Tale. In 2001, she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. Atwood is the 2016 recipient of The National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2017 recipient of the PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Among innumerable contributions to Canadian literature, Atwood was a founding trustee of the Griffin Poetry Prize, as well as a founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing community.


Atwood is also the inventor and developer of the LongPen and associated technologies that facilitate the remote robotic writing of documents. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Syngrafii Inc. (formerly Unotchit Inc.), a company that she started in 2004 to develop, produce and distribute the LongPen technology. She holds various patents related to the LongPen technologies.


As a novelist and poet, Atwood's works encompass a variety of themes including the power of language, gender and identity, religion and myth, 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 has published short stories in Tamarack Review, Alphabet, Harper's, CBC Anthology, Ms., Saturday Night, and many other magazines…


In 1957, she began studying at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, where she published poems and articles in Acta Victoriana, the college literary journal. Her professors included Jay Macpherson and Northrop Frye. She graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts in English (honours) and minors in philosophy and French. In late 1961, after winning the E. J. Pratt Medal for her privately printed book of poems, Double Persephone, she began graduate studies at Radcliffe College of Harvard University, with a Woodrow Wilson fellowship. She obtained a master's degree (MA) from Radcliffe in 1962 and pursued doctoral studies for two years, but did not finish her dissertation, "The English Metaphysical Romance"...


Atwood's work has been of interest to feminist literary critics, despite Atwood's unwillingness at times to apply the feminist label to her works. Starting with the publication of her first novel, The Edible Woman, Atwood asserted, "I don’t consider it feminism; I just consider it social realism." Despite her rejection of the label at times, critics have analyzed the sexual politics, use of myth and fairytale, and gendered relationships in her work through the lens of feminism. She later clarified her discomfort with the label feminism by stating, "I always want to know what people mean by that word [feminism]. Some people mean it quite negatively, other people mean it very positively, some people mean it in a broad sense, other people mean it in a more specific sense. Therefore, in order to answer the question, you have to ask the person what they mean."... In January 2018 Atwood penned the op-ed "Am I A Bad Feminist" for The Globe and Mail. The piece was in response to social media backlash related to Atwood's signature on a 2016 petition calling for an independent investigation into the firing of Steven Galloway, a former University of British Columbia professor accused of sexual harassment and assault by a student. While critics denounced Atwood for her support of Galloway, Atwood asserts that her signature was in support of due process in the legal system. She has been criticized for her comments surrounding the #MeToo movement, particularly that it is a "symptom of a broken legal system."...


Atwood holds honorary degrees from Oxford University, Cambridge University, and the Sorbonne. She has won more than 55 awards in Canada and internationally, along with receiving numerous honorary degrees, including:



  • Governor General's Award, (1966, 1985)

  • Companion of the Order of Canada, 1981

  • Guggenheim fellowship, 1981

  • Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, 1986

  • American Humanist Association Humanist of the Year, 1987

  • Nebula Award, 1986 and Prometheus Award, 1987 nominations, both science fiction awards.

  • Arthur C. Clarke Award for best Science Fiction, 1987

  • Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1988

  • Canadian Booksellers Association Author of the Year, 1989

  • Trillium Book Award, 1991, 1993, 1995

  • Government of France's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 1994

  • Helmerich Award, 1999, by the Tulsa Library Trust.

  • Booker Prize, 2000

  • Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, 2007

  • Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, 2008

  • Nelly Sachs Prize, Germany, 2010

  • Dan David Prize, Israel, 2010

  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Canada, 2012

  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize "Innovator's Award", 2012

  • Gold medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 2015

  • Golden Wreath of Struga Poetry Evenings, Macedonia, 2016

  • Franz Kafka Prize, Czech Republic, 2017

  • Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Germany, 2017


Honorary degrees:

Trent University, Queen's University, Concordia University, Smith College, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, Mount Holyoke College, Victoria College, Université de Montréal, University of Leeds, McMaster University, Lakehead University, University of Oxford, Algoma University, University of Cambridge, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ryerson University, Royal Military College of Canada (LL.D), University of Athens, University of Edinburgh." (1)

From Wikipedia

*Her Works

*some of