Canada has had Its fair share of great authors like Farley Mowat, Steven King,Stanley Burke, and many more. But one Author that stands out from the rest is a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind.A feminise by the name of Margaret Atwood who has written poems, novels, short stories, childrens books, and television scripts. Atwood was also the president of the writers Union of Canada. Most would say that Atwood is the greatest Canadian writer of all time.
Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 18, 1939. Because her father was a forest entomologist, Atwood spent most of her childhood living in the Canadian wilderness. During the eight months of each year that her father did insect research in the forest, the Atwood family lived in “a cabin with a wood stove and several kerosene lanterns. There were bears and wolves and moose and loons” (qtd. in “Author Profile”). Because she live in the forest eight months of the year Atwood would entertain herself with books. They became her only means for entertainment and escape. “I read them all, even when they weren’t supposed to be for children” (qtd. in “Author Profile”). One of her favorite books as a child was Grimm’s Fairy Tales, “the unexpurgated
version the one with the red hot shoes.”
During this childhood of reading, Atwood also began to write. By the age of six, Atwood was writing “poems, morality plays, comic books, and an unfinished novel about an ant” (qtd. in “Author Profile”). Ten years later, Atwood decided that she only wanted to write. She wanted “to live a double life; to go places I haven’t been; to examine life on earth; to come to know people in ways, and at depths, that are otherwise impossible; to be surprised…to give back something of what I have received” (qtd. in “Author Profile”). Two years after this life-altering decision, Atwood entered Victoria College at the University of Toronto. She received her bachelor’s degree from Victoria College in 1961,
and then went on to receive her Master’s degree from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Atwood also received education from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during 1962-63 and 1965-67. In all Atwood has twelve honorary degrees from Universities and Collages across North America.
In 1964 Atwood published her first piece of writing Entailed The Circle Game which she won the 1966 Governor Generals Award for. From there on she published about fifty poetry books and hundreds of poems. One Entitled November.
The sheep hangs upside down from the rope, a long fruit covered with wool and rotting. It waits for the dead wagon to harvest it.Mournful November this is the imabe you invent for me, the dead sheep came out of your head, a legacy:(O.B.of C.V,pg350) poems like this one are what Atwood would say was an experience she has had as a young women growing up in the forest those eight month of the year.
Atwood written many poetry books from which she won many rewards. But her greatest accomplishments are the many novels and short stories she had written. From the first novel that was published in 1969 entitled The Edible Woman to one of her latest books entitled Alias Grace which was published in 1996. In October of 1996, Publisher’s Weekly released a book review on the Atwood novel Alias Grace. In this article, the reviewer remarks that “Atwood has drawn a compelling portrait of what might have been” (“Alias Grace” 1). The reviewer goes on to say that Atwood “has written a typical Victorian novel, leisurely in exposition, copiously detailed and crowded with subtly drawn
characters who speak the embroidered, pietistic language of the time” (“Alias Grace” 1).
Atwood has also written many childrens books like Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut which was also published in 1996 and when reviewed, described Atwood’s jump to children’s literature as “a break from serious fiction to cut loose with this deliciously silly romp” (“Princess Prunella” 1).
Other than writing, Atwood has also had many Occupations with many prestige Collages and Universitys. For example, recently she was employed as a lecturer of English at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver. Atwood also instructed English at Sir George Williams University in Montreal and was an assistant professor of English at York University in Toronto. Atwood was also a Writer-In-Residence at the University of Toronto and the M.F.A. Honorary Chair at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. She has also held the position of Berg Chair at New York University and was the Writer-In-Residence at both Macquarie University at Australia and Trinity University at San Antonio, Texas. From May, 1981 to May, 1982, Atwood was president of the Writers’ Union of Canada and from 1984-1986, she was president of International P.E.N. in Canada (English speaking).
Atwood life has been a writers dream, and a reality to her she has accomplished so much in her life that she couldnt be able to remember all the awards that she has won for her literature. Through out her life she is surrounded by and that what makes her a talented writer and what makes her a popular writer and known through out the world. In short, Atwood seems to please most critics and readers. Her way of weaving words and creating worlds fascinates her audience and leaves the reader in awe and that what makes
her the greatest Canadian Author to ever live.
Alias Grace Publishers Weekly (Online)
Author Profile: Margaret Atwood (Online)
Atwood, Margaret. Survival.
Toronto: House of Anansi Press Limited, 1972.
—. The New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.
Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1982.
Hamilton,K.A. Canadian Writes!
Toronto: The Writers Union of Canada
Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut. Publishers Weekly (Online)