13 December, 2013
“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”
Margaret Atwood (1939 - )
Born in Canada to parents engaged in the study of forest entomology, Atwood spent much of her youth in the woods and did not attend school full time until she was a teenager. A voracious reader, she ultimately graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English and the goal of becoming a writer. She did several years of postgraduate work at Radcliffe and Harvard, but did not finish her dissertation. Her poetry began to receive widespread notice in the 1960’s, but her novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1981) propelled her to celebrity status, winning the Arthur C. Clarke and Governor General’s award, and making her an icon of the feminist movement. Other works of speculative fiction, Oryx and Crake, (2003) and The Blind Assassin (2000) have won her the Booker Prize and the Dan David Prize, as well as a long list of honorary doctorates at prestigious institutions including Smith, Harvard, Oxford and the Sorbonne. Atwood is well regarded in humanist and liberal circles and is a member of the Green Party of Canada.