Margaret Atwood

b. 1939
Margaret Atwood

Regarded as one of Canada’s finest living writers, Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. Her books have received critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and her native Canada, and she has received numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Governor General’s Award, twice. Atwood’s critical popularity is matched by her popularity with readers; her books are regularly bestsellers.

Atwood first came to public attention as a poet in the 1960s with her collections Double Persephone (1961), winner of the E.J. Pratt Medal, and The Circle Game (1964), winner of a Governor General’s award. These two books marked out the terrain her subsequent poetry has explored. Double Persephone dramatizes the contrasts between life and art, as well as natural and human creations. The Circle Game takes this opposition further, setting such human constructs as games, literature, and love against the instability of nature. Sherrill Grace, writing in Violent Duality: A Study of Margaret Atwood, identified the central tension in all of Atwood’s work as “the pull towards art on one hand and towards life on the other.” Atwood “is constantly aware of opposites—self/other, subject/ object, male/female, nature/man—and of the need to accept and work within them,” Grace explained. Linda W. Wagner, writing in The Art of Margaret Atwood: Essays in Criticism, also saw the dualistic nature of Atwood’s poetry, asserting that “duality [is] presented as separation” in her work. This separation leads her characters to be isolated from one another and from the natural world, resulting in their inability to communicate, to break free of exploitative social relationships, or to understand their place in the natural order. “In her early poetry,” Gloria Onley wrote in the West Coast Review, Atwood “is acutely aware of the problem of alienation, the need for real human communication and the establishment of genuine human community—real as opposed to mechanical or manipulative; genuine as opposed to the counterfeit community of the body politic.”

Suffering is common for the female characters in Atwood’s poems, although they are never passive victims. Atwood’s poems, West Coast Review contributor Onley maintained, concern “modern woman’s anguish at finding herself isolated and exploited (although also exploiting) by the imposition of a sex role power structure.” Atwood explained to Judy Klemesrud in the New York Times that her suffering characters come from real life: “My women suffer because most of the women I talk to seem to have suffered.” Although she became a favorite of feminists, Atwood’s popularity in the feminist community was unsought. “I began as a profoundly apolitical writer,” she told Lindsy Van Gelder of Ms., “but then I began to do what all novelists and some poets do: I began to describe the world around me.”

Atwood’s 1995 book of poetry, Morning in the Burned House, “reflects a period in Atwood’s life when time seems to be running out,” observed John Bemrose in Maclean’s. Noting that many of the poems address grief and loss, particularly in relationship to her father’s death and a realization of her own mortality, Bemrose added that the book “moves even more deeply into survival territory.” Bemrose further suggested that in this book, Atwood allows the readers greater latitude in interpretation than in her earlier verse: “Atwood uses grief…to break away from that airless poetry and into a new freedom.” A selection of Atwood’s poems was released as Eating Fire: Selected Poems 1965-1995 in 1998. Showing the arc of Atwood’s poetics, the volume was praised by Scotland on Sunday for its “lean, symbolic, thoroughly Atwoodesque prose honed into elegant columns.” Atwood’s 2007 collection, The Door, was her first new volume of poems in a decade. Reviewing the book for the Guardian, the noted literary critic Jay Parini maintained that Atwood’s “northern” poetic climate is fully on view, “full of wintry scenes, harsh autumnal rain, splintered lives, and awkward relationships. Against this landscape, she draws figures of herself.” Parini found Atwood using irony, the conventions of confessional verse, political attitudes and gestures, as well as moments of ars poetica throughout the collection. “There is a pleasing consistency in these poems,” he wrote “which are always written in a fluent free verse, in robust, clear language. Atwood’s wit and humour are pervasive, and few of the poems end without an ironic twang.”

Atwood’s interest in women and female experience also emerges clearly in her novels, particularly in The Edible Woman (1969), Surfacing (1972), Life before Man (1979), Bodily Harm (1981), and The Handmaid’s Tale (1985). Even later novels such as The Robber Bride (1993) and Alias Grace (1996) feature female characters defined by their intelligence and complexity. By far Atwood’s most famous early novel, The Handmaid’s Tale also presages her later novels of scientific dystopia and environmental disaster like Oryx and Crake (2003) and The Year of the Flood (2009). Rather than “science fiction,” Atwood uses the term “speculative fiction” to describe her project in these novels. The Handmaid’s Tale is dominated by an unforgiving view of patriarchy and its legacies. As Barbara Holliday wrote in the Detroit Free Press, Atwood “has been concerned in her fiction with the painful psychic warfare between men and women. In The Handmaid’s Tale...she casts subtlety aside, exposing woman’s primal fear of being used and helpless.” Atwood, however, believes that her vision is not far from reality. Speaking to Battiata, Atwood noted that “The Handmaid’s Tale does not depend upon hypothetical scenarios, omens, or straws in the wind, but upon documented occurrences and public pronouncements; all matters of record.”

Atwood’s next few books deal less with speculative worlds and more with history, literary convention, and narrative hi-jinx. In The Robber Bride, Atwood again explores women’s issues and feminist concerns, this time concentrating on women’s relationships with each other—both positive and negative. Inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale “The Robber Bridegroom,” the novel chronicles the relationships of college friends Tony, Charis, and Roz with their backstabbing classmate Zenia. Lorrie Moore, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called The Robber Bride “Atwood’s funniest and most companionable book in years,” adding that its author “retains her gift for observing, in poetry, the minutiae specific to the physical and emotional lives of her characters.” Alias Grace represents Atwood’s first venture into historical fiction, but the book has much in common with her other works in its contemplation of “the shifting notions of women’s moral nature” and “the exercise of power between men and women,” wrote Maclean’s contributor Diane Turbide. Several reviewers found Grace, a woman accused of murdering her employer and his wife but who claims amnesia, a complicated and compelling character. Turbide added that Grace is more than an intriguing character: she is also “the lens through which Victorian hypocrisies are mercilessly exposed.” Francine Prose, however, writing in the New York Times Book Review, thought the historical trivia excessive: “Rather than enhancing the novel’s verisimilitude, these mini-lessons underline the distance between reader and subject.” But Prose admired “the liveliness with which Ms. Atwood toys with both our expectations and the conventions of the Victorian thriller.”

Atwood continues to investigate the conventions and expectations of genre literature in The Blind Assassin (2000), which won the prestigious Booker Prize. The novel involves multiple story lines; interspersed with these narrative threads are sections devoted to one character’s novel, The Blind Assassin, published posthumously. Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times called The Blind Assassin an “absorbing new novel” that “showcases Ms. Atwood’s narrative powers and her ardent love of the Gothic.” Atwood’s next novels, however, return to the speculative terrain she mapped out in The Handmaid’s Tale. Both Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood envision a world of fundamental environmental catastrophe. Reviewing Oryx and Crake, Kakutani in the New York Times wrote, “once again she conjures up a dystopia, where trends that started way back in the twentieth century have metastasized into deeply sinister phenomena.” Science contributor Susan M. Squier wrote that “Atwood imagines a drastic revision of the human species that will purge humankind of all of our negative traits.” Squier went on to note that “in Oryx and Crake readers will find a powerful meditation on how education that separates scientific and aesthetic ways of knowing produces ignorance and a wounded world.”

The Year of the Flood contains many of the same characters as Oryx and Crake, and is, as Ursula K. Le Guin noted in her Guardian review “a continuation of, not exactly a sequel to” the previous novel. Comparing the two novels, Le Guin noted that “the personality and feelings of characters in Oryx and Crake were of little interest; these were figures in the service of a morality play. The Year of the Flood is less satirical in tone, less of an intellectual exercise, less scathing though more painful. It is seen very largely through the eyes of women, powerless women, whose individual characters and temperaments and emotions are vivid and memorable. We have less of Hogarth and more of Goya.” Though Le Guin acknowledged that the book can be read as an affirmation of what is good and durable in the human, she ultimately considered it “a lament for what little was good about human beings—affection, loyalty, patience, courage—ground down into the dust by our overweening stupidity and monkey cleverness and crazy hatefulness.”

Atwood is known for her strong support of causes: feminism, environmentalism, social justice. In Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972), Atwood discerns a uniquely Canadian literature, distinct from its American and British counterparts. Canadian literature, she argues, is primarily concerned with victims and with the victim’s ability to survive unforgiving circumstances. In the way other countries or cultures focus around a unifying symbol—America’s frontier, England’s island—Canada and Canadian literature orientate around survival. Several critics find that Atwood’s own work exemplifies this primary theme of Canadian literature. Her examination of destructive gender roles and her nationalistic concern over the subordinate role Canada plays to the United States are variations on the victor/victim theme. Atwood believes a writer must consciously work within his or her nation’s literary tradition, and her own work closely parallels the themes she sees as common to the Canadian literary tradition.

Atwood has also continued to write about writing. Her lectures Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing were published under the same title in 2002. She has also released several essay collections, including Moving Targets: Writing with Intent, 1982-2004 (2004) and Curious Pursuits: Occasional Writing, 1970-2005 (2005). In 2008 she published the collection Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. Examining the peculiar financial straits of the 21st century, Atwood also traces the historical precedents for lending, borrowing, and debt. Although the author has been labeled a Canadian nationalist, a feminist, and even a gothic writer, given the range and volume of her work, Atwood both incorporates and transcends all of these categories.

 

[Updated 2010]

Career

Writer. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, lecturer in English literature, 1964-65; Sir George Williams University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, lecturer in English literature, 1967-68; York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, assistant professor of English literature, 1971-72; House of Anansi Press, Toronto, editor and member of board of directors, 1971-73; University of Toronto, writer-in-residence, 1972-73; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, writer-in-residence, 1985; New York University, New York, NY, Berg Visiting Professor of English, 1986; Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia, writer-in-residence, 1987. Worked variously as a camp counselor and waitress.

Bibliography

POETRY

  • Double Persephone, Hawkshead Press (Ontario, Canada), 1961.
  • The Circle Game, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1964, revised edition, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1978.
  • Kaleidoscopes Baroque: A Poem, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1965.
  • Talismans for Children, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1965.
  • Speeches for Doctor Frankenstein, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1966.
  • The Animals in That Country, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1968.
  • The Journals of Susanna Moodie, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1970.
  • Procedures for Underground, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.
  • Power Politics, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1971, Harper (New York, NY), 1973.
  • You Are Happy, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1974.
  • Selected Poems, 1965-1975, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1976, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1978.
  • Marsh Hawk, Dreadnaught Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1977.
  • Two-headed Poems, Oxford University Press, 1978, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1981.
  • Notes Toward a Poem That Can Never Be Written, Salamander Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981.
  • True Stories, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982.
  • Snake Poems, Salamander Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983.
  • Interlunar, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1984.
  • Selected Poems II: Poems Selected and New, 1976-1986, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1986.
  • Morning in the Burned House, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.
  • Eating Fire: Selected Poetry, 1965-1995, Virago Press (London, England), 1998.
  • The Door, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

Also author of Expeditions, 1966, and What Was in the Garden, 1969.

NOVELS

  • The Edible Woman, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1969, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Surfacing, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1972, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1973, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Lady Oracle, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1976, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Life before Man, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1979, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Bodily Harm, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Encounters with the Element Man, William B. Ewert (Concord, NH), 1982.
  • Unearthing Suite, Grand Union Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983.
  • The Handmaid's Tale, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1985, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1986, reprinted, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.
  • Cat's Eye, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1989.
  • The Robber Bride, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.
  • Alias Grace, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1996.
  • The Blind Assassin, Random House (New York, NY), 2000.
  • Oryx and Crake, Nan A. Talese (New York, NY), 2003.
  • The Tent, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday (New York, NY), 2006.
  • The Penelopiad, Canongate US (New York NY), 2005.
  • The Year of the Flood, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday (New York, NY), 2009.

STORY COLLECTIONS

  • Dancing Girls and Other Stories, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1977, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Bluebeard's Egg and Other Stories, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983, Anchor Doubleday (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Murder in the Dark: Short Fictions and Prose Poems, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983.
  • Wilderness Tips and Other Stories, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1991.
  • Good Bones, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992, published as Good Bones and Simple Murders, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1994.
  • A Quiet Game: And Other Early Works, edited and annotated by Kathy Chung and Sherrill Grace, Juvenilia Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1997.
  • The Tent, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2006.
  • Moral Disorder: And Other Stories, Nan A. Talese (New York, NY), 2006.

OTHER

  • The Trumpets of Summer (radio play), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC-Radio), 1964.
  • Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1972.
  • The Servant Girl (teleplay), CBC-TV, 1974.
  • Days of the Rebels, 1815-1840, Natural Science Library, 1976.
  • The Poetry and Voice of Margaret Atwood (recording), Caedmon (New York, NY), 1977.
  • Up in the Tree (juvenile), McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1978.
  • (Author of introduction) Catherine M. Young, To See Our World, GLC Publishers, 1979, Morrow (New York, NY), 1980.
  • (With Joyce Barkhouse) Anna's Pet (juvenile), James Lorimer, 1980.
  • Snowbird (teleplay), CBC-TV, 1981.
  • Second Words: Selected Critical Prose, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982, 2000.
  • (Editor) The New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982.
  • (Editor, with Robert Weaver) The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1986.
  • (With Peter Pearson) Heaven on Earth (teleplay), CBC-TV, 1986.
  • (Editor) The Canlit Foodbook, Totem Books (New York, NY), 1987.
  • (Editor, with Shannon Ravenal) The Best American Short Stories, 1989, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1989.
  • For the Birds, illustrated by John Bianchi, Firefly Books (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), 1991.
  • (Editor, with Barry Callaghan; and author of introduction) The Poetry of Gwendolyn MacEwen, Exile Editions (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Volume 1: The Early Years, 1993, Volume 2: The Later Years, 1994.
  • Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut (juvenile), illustrated by Maryann Kovalski, Workman (New York, NY), 1995.
  • Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature (lectures), Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1996.
  • Some Things about Flying, Women's Press (London, England), 1997.
  • (With Victor-Levy Beaulieu) Two Solicitudes: Conversations (interviews), translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.
  • (Author of introduction) Women Writers at Work: The "Paris Review" Interviews, edited by George Plimpton, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing (lectures), Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
  • Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes (juvenile), illustrated by Dusan Petricic, Key Porter Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
  • (With others) Story of a Nation: Defining Moments in Our History, Doubleday Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2001.
  • (Author of introduction) Chisitan Bok, editor, Ground Works: Avant-Garde for Thee, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
  • Moving Targets: Writing with Intent, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
  • Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda (juvenile), illustrated by Dusan Petricic, Key Porter Kids (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
  • (With others) New Beginnings: Sold in Aid of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Earthquake Charities, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.
  • Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose, 1983-2005, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2005.
  • The Penelopiad (part of the Knopf "Myth Series"), Knopf (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
  • Curious Pursuits: Occasional Writing, 1970-2005, Virago (London, England), 2005.

Contributor to anthologies, including Five Modern Canadian Poets, 1970, The Canadian Imagination: Dimensions of a Literary Culture, Harvard University Press, 1977, and Women on Women, 1978. Contributor to periodicals, including Atlantic, Poetry, New Yorker, Harper's, New York Times Book Review, Saturday Night, Tamarack Review, and Canadian Forum.

Further Reading

BOOKS

  • Beran, Carol L., Living over the Abyss: Margaret Atwood's Life before Man, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.
  • Bloom, Harold, editor, Margaret Atwood, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2000.
  • Bouson, J. Brooks, Brutal Choreographies: Oppositional Strategies and Narrative Design in the Novels of Margaret Atwood, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1993.
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 2, 1974, Volume 3, 1975, Volume 4, 1975, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 13, 1980, Volume 15, 1980, Volume 25, 1983, Volume 44, 1987.
  • Cooke, John, The Influence of Painting on Five Canadian Writers: Alice Munro, Hugh Hood, Timothy Findley, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Ondaatje, Edwin Mellen (Lewiston, NY), 1996.
  • Cooke, Nathalie, Margaret Atwood: A Biography, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.
  • Davidson, Arnold E., Seeing in the Dark: Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.
  • Davidson, Arnold E., and Cathy N. Davidson, editors, The Art of Margaret Atwood: Essays in Criticism, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 53: Canadian Writers since 1960, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1986.
  • Gibson, Graeme, Eleven Canadian Novelists, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1973.
  • Grace, Sherrill, Violent Duality: A Study of Margaret Atwood, Véhicule Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1980.
  • Grace, Sherrill, and Lorraine Weir, editors, Margaret Atwood: Language, Text, and System, University of British Columbia Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1983.
  • Hengen, Shannon, Margaret Atwood's Power: Mirrors, Reflections, and Images in Select Fiction and Poetry, Second Story Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.
  • Howells, Coral Ann, Margaret Atwood, St. Martin's Press (New York City), 1996.
  • Irvine, Lorna, Collecting Clues: Margaret Atwood's Bodily Harm, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.
  • Lecker, Robert, and Jack David, editors, The Annotated Bibliography of Canada's Major Authors, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1980.
  • Marshall, Tom, Harsh and Lovely Land: The Major Canadian Poets and the Making of a Canadian Tradition, University of British Columbia Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1978.
  • McCombs, Judith, and Carole L. Palmer, Margaret Atwood: A Reference Guide, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1991.
  • Michael, Magali Cornier, Feminism and the Postmodern Impulse: Post-World War II Fiction, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1996.
  • Nicholson, Colin, editor, Margaret Atwood: Writing and Subjectivity: New Critical Essays, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.
  • Nischik, Reingard M., editor, Margaret Atwood: Works and Impact, Camden House (Rochester, NY), 2000.
  • Rao, Eleanora, Strategies for Identity: The Fiction of Margaret Atwood, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1993.
  • Sandler, Linda, editor, Margaret Atwood: A Symposium, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1977.
  • Stein, Karen F., Margaret Atwood Revisited, Twayne (New York, NY), 1999.
  • Sullivan, Rosemary, The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out, HarperFlamingo Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.
  • Thompson, Lee Briscoe, Scarlet Letters: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.
  • Twigg, Alan, For Openers: Conversations with Twenty-four Canadian Writers, Harbour Publishing (Madeira Park, British Columbia, Canada), 1981.
  • Woodcock, George, The Canadian Novel in the Twentieth Century, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1975.

PERIODICALS

  • Book World, November 7, 2004, Elizabeth Ward, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 12.
  • Booklist, June 1, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of The Blind Assassin, p. 1796; January 1, 2004, review of Oryx and Crake, p. 776; March 1, 2005, Donna Seaman, review of Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose, 1983-2005, p. 1130..
  • Bookseller, February 4, 2005, review of Curious Pursuits: Occasional Writing, 1970-2005, p. 36.
  • Canadian Book Review Annual, 2004, Patricia Morley, review of Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, p. 465.
  • Christian Science Monitor, December 27, 1991, Merle Rubin, review of Wilderness Tips and Other Stories, p. 14.
  • Contemporary Literature, winter, 2003, Susan Strehle, review of Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing, pp. 737-42.
  • Detroit News, April 4, 1982, Anne Tyler, review of Bodily Harm.
  • Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), December 11, 2004, Bill Richardson, review of Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, p. D18; January 21, 2006, Aritha van Herk, review of The Tent, p. D4.
  • Humanist, September-October, 1986, Stephen McCabe, review of the Handmaid's Tale, p. 31.
  • Insight, March 24, 1986, Richard Grenier, review of The Handmaid's Tale.
  • Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2004, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 802; October 1, 2005, review of The Tent, p. 1057.
  • Library Journal, August 9, 2000, Beth E. Andersen, review of The Blind Assassin; March 15, 2005, Nancy R. Ives, review of Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose, 1983-2005, p. 84.
  • London Review of Books, November 17, 2005, Thomas Jones, review of The Penelopiad, p. 23.
  • Maclean's, January 15, 1979, review of Two-Headed Poems, p. 50; October 15, 1979, review of Life Before Man, p. 66; March 30, 1981, Mark Able, review of True Stories, p. 52; September 16, 1991, John Bemrose, review of Wilderness Tips and Other Stories, p. 58; October 5, 1992, John Bemrose, review of Good Bones, p. 60; October 4, 1993, Judith Timson, review of The Robber Bride, p. 55; February 6, 1995, John Bemrose, review of Morning in the Burned House, p. 85; September 23, 1996, Diane Turbide, "Amazing Atwood," pp. 42-45; July 1, 1999, Margaret Atwood, "Survival, Then and Now," p. 54.
  • Ms., January, 1987, Lindsy Van Gelder, "Margaret Atwood," p. 48.
  • Newsweek, February 18, 1980, Peter S. Prescott, review of Life Before Man, p. 108; February 17, 1986, Peter S. Prescott, review of The Handmaid's Tale, p. 70.
  • New Yorker, September 18, 2000, John Updike, review of The Blind Assassin, p. 142.
  • New York Review of Books, December 19, 1996, Hilary Mantel, "Murder and Memory."
  • New York Times, March 6, 1982, Anatole Broyard, review of Bodily Harm, pp. 13(N), 21(LC); March 28, 1982, Judy Klemesrud, "Canada's 'High Priestess of Angst,'" p. 21; September 15, 1982; January 27, 1986, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of The Handmaid's Tale, p. C24; February 17, 1986; November 5, 1986; October 26, 1993, Michiko Kakutani, review of The Robber Bride, p. C20; November 23, 1993, Sarah Lyall, " An Author Who Lets Women Be Bad Guys," pp. C13, C16; September 3, 2000, Thomas Mallon, review of The Blind Assassin; September 8, 2000, Michiko Kakutani, review of The Blind Assassin ; May 13, 2003, Michiko Kakutani, review of Oryx and Crake, p. E9.
  • New York Times Book Review, February 3, 1980, Marilyn French, review of Life Before Man, p. 1; February 9, 1986, Mary McCarthy, review of The Handmaid's Tale, p. 1; October 31, 1993, Lorrie Moore, review of The Robber Bride, pp. 1, 22; December 11, 1994, Jennifer Howard, review of Good Bones and Simple Murders, p. 22; December 29, 1996, Francine Prose, review of Alias Grace, p. 6; December 7, 2003, review of Oryx and Crake, p. 69.
  • O, the Oprah Magazine, November, 2005, Vince Passaro, review of The Penelopiad, p. 184.
  • Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2000, review of The Blind Assassin, p. 67; July 24, 2000, " PW Talks to Margaret Atwood," p. 68; August 23, 2004, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 54.
  • Quill and Quire, April, 1981, Robert Sward, review of True Stories; September, 1984.
  • Resource Links, December, 2003, Denise Parrott, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 1; April, 2005, Adriane Pettit, review of Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, p. 1.
  • San Francisco Review of Books, summer, 1982, Nancy Ramsey, review of Bodily Harm, p. 21.
  • Saturday Night, July-August, 1998, Rosemary Sullivan, "The Writer-Bride," p. 56.
  • Saturday Review, February 2, 1980, Rosellen Brown, review of Life Before Man, p. 33.
  • School Library Journal, November, 2004, Caroline Ward, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 90.
  • Science, November 14, 2003, Susan M. Squier, review of Oryx and Crake, p. 1154.
  • Studies in the Novel, spring, 2004, Earl G. Ingersoll, review of Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing, p. 126.
  • Village Voice, January 7, 1980, Laurie Stone, review of Life Before Man.
  • Washington Post, April 6, 1986, Mary Battiata, review of The Handmaid's Tale.
  • Washington Post Book World, November 7, 1993, Francine Prose, review of The Robber Bride, p. 1.
  • West Coast Review, January, 1973, Gloria Onley, "Margaret Atwood: Surfacing in the Interests of Survival."

ONLINE

  • Atwood Society Web site, http://www.mscd.edu/~atwoodso/ (March 9, 2006).

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Margaret Atwood

Biography

Regarded as one of Canada’s finest living writers, Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. Her books have received critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and her native Canada, and she has received numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Governor General’s Award, twice. Atwood’s critical popularity is matched by her . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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