Margaret Atwood’s highly acclaimed body of work includes poetry, short fiction, novels, children’s books, nonfiction, and radio and television scripts. Her writing is widely recognized for addressing the human condition, feminist concerns, the dark side of human behavior, and political power.
Her more than 25 books have received critical recognition and best-seller status. Ann Marie Lipinski, writing in the Chicago Tribune described Atwood as “one of the leading literary luminaries, a national heroine of the arts, the rara avis of Canadian letters.” With the publication of The Edible Woman in 1970, her reputation as a novelist—the genre for which she is best known—was launched.
Among the many honors Atwood has received are the Canadian Governor General’s Award for her poetry collection Circle Game (1996) and the novelThe Handmaid’s Tale, The Canadian Authors’ Association Novel of the Year for The Robber Bride, the Canadian Booksellers Association Author of the Year Award in 1989 and France’s de Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1994.
Atwood was awarded the 2001 Booker Prize for her novel The Blind Assassin.One of the most famous literary awards in the world, the Booker Prize honors the best novel of the year. The Blind Assassin, Atwood’s tenth novel, also was Time magazine’s Book of the Year.
Her 11th novel, Oryx and Crake (Doubleday) is a work of science fiction. In a world of bioengineering, cloning and tissue regeneration, she strikes an unambiguous warning note. Atwood depicts a near-future world that turns from the merely horrible to the horrific, from a fool’s paradise to a bio-wasteland. Readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.
“Oryx and Crake is Atwood at her best—dark, dry, scabrously witty, yet moving and studded with flashes of pure poetry. Her gloriously inventive brave new world is all the more chilling because of the mirror it holds up to our own. Citizens, be warned,” says Lisa Appignanesi for her review in The Independent.
Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.
Margaret Atwood was interviewed at Kentucky Author Forum by science correspondent and award-winning journalist Ira Flatow, host of “Talk of the Nation: Science Friday” on NPR. Flatow’s show is a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment. Flatow is a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and his honors include the AAAS Journalism Award, Elizabeth Wood Writing Award, and Carl Sagan Award.