Margaret Atwood

Biography of Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood
date place
born November 18, 1939 Ottawa, Ontario

Margaret Atwood, born on November 18, 1939, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is a distinguished Canadian writer renowned for her prose fiction and feminist viewpoint. During her adolescence, Atwood divided her time between Toronto and the sparsely settled bush country in northern Canada, where her father, an entomologist, conducted research. Her literary journey began at age five and gained seriousness a decade later. After completing her university studies at the University of Toronto's Victoria College, Atwood earned a master’s degree in English literature from Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1962. Atwood's early poetry collections, including "Double Persephone" (1961), "The Circle Game" (1964, revised in 1966), and "The Animals in That Country" (1968), reflect on human behavior, nature, and criticize materialism. Her novels consistently explore themes of role reversal and new beginnings, centering on women seeking their place in the world. "The Handmaid’s Tale" (1985), a dystopian novel depicting a woman's life in sexual slavery in a future theocracy, became a film in 1990, an opera in 2000, and a TV series in 2017, co-written by Atwood. "The Blind Assassin" (2000), another Booker Prize winner, intricately weaves a narrative around an elderly Canadian woman's memoir, addressing her sister’s suicide and her role in posthumously publishing a novel. Atwood's diverse novels include "The Edible Woman" (1969), "Surfacing" (1972), "Cat’s Eye" (1988), "The Robber Bride" (1993), and "Alias Grace" (1996), the last adapted into a TV miniseries in 2017. Her 2005 novel, "The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus," reimagines Homer's Odyssey. Apart from fiction, Margaret Atwood writes short stories and poetry. She has also authored nonfiction works like "Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing" (2002), "Payback" (2008), "In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination" (2011), and "Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021" (2022). Additionally, Atwood teaches English literature at various Canadian and American universities and was honored with the PEN Pinter Prize in 2016 for her life and works' political activism.

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