More serious, however, is the fact that the category has come to seem increasingly inadequate, even obsolete in relation to Atwood’s work, particularly in the last couple of decades. Atwood does of course deal centrally with gender issues, and there is no doubt that in such novels of the 1960s–1980s as The Edible Woman, Surfacing, Lady Oracle, Bodily Harm, and The Handmaid’s Tale feminist debates provide an important context.
Some of the most illuminating references are in fact to works that lie outside a strictly feminist context—for example Charles Taylor’s communitarian theory and the politics of recognition or Edward Wilson on sociobiology. Where the feminist context begins to distract from, rather than enhance, the experience of reading Atwood’s writing is in the novels from Cat’s Eye (1988) onward: the decade and a half of dazzling creativity that produced (among other writings) The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake.
In 1980 Margaret Atwood became vice-chair of the . She worked on a television drama, “Snowbird” (CBC, 1981), and co-published another children's book, Anna's Pet (1980), with Joyce Barkhouse. It was adapted for stage by the Mermaid Theatre (1986). Always interested in civil rights, she was active over several years in Amnesty International, which had an impact on the subject matter of True Stories, a book of poetry, and Bodily Harm, a novel appearing in 1981. In both works she "bears witness," breaking down distinctions she herself makes between poetry (at the heart of her relationship with language) and fiction (her moral vision of the world). She continued her fight against literary censorship as president of PEN International's Anglo-Canadian branch from 1984 to 1986, on whose behalf she edited The CanLit Foodbook (1987).
Murder in the Dark (1983), a collection of experimental prose poems and short fictions, excited critical accolades for its use of language and the way it dissolved the traditional boundaries between fiction and poetry. Atwood continued to alternate prose with poetry, with Interlunar (1984) followed by Selected Poems II: Poems Selected & New, 1976-1986 (1986). However, the international critical and popular success of (1985) — which won the Governor General's Award, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and the Commonwealth Literary Prize, and was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize (UK) and the Ritz-Paris-Hemingway Prize (Paris) — won Atwood greater renown and financial success as a novelist. Probing the gender biases of historiography, this novel was made into a film in 1990 (from a screenplay by Harold Pinter) and later adapted and produced as an acclaimed opera by the Royal Danish Opera Society in 2000.
Despite the novel’s current air of timeliness, the contours of the dystopian future that Atwood imagined in the eighties do not map closely onto the present moment—although recent news images of asylum seekers fleeing across the U.S. border into Canada have a chilling resonance with the opening moments of the television series, which shows Moss, not yet enlisted as a Handmaid, attempting to escape from the U.S. to its northern neighbor, where democracy prevails. Still, the U.S. in 2017 does not show immediate signs of becoming Gilead, Atwood’s imagined theocratic American republic. President Trump is not an adherent of traditional family values; he is a serial divorcer. He is not known to be a man of religious faith; his Sundays are spent on the golf course.
A term used a great deal by second-wave feminists, particularly in relation to the Anglophone critique of écriture féminine, “essentialism” has an anachronistic ring to it within the context of contemporary thought given the refusal by most recent scientists and social theorists (including feminists engaging with these debates, such as Donna Haraway) of the very distinction between nature and culture.
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC, poet, novelist, critic (born 18 November 1939 in Ottawa, ON). A varied and prolific writer, Margaret Atwood is one of Canada's major contemporary authors.
"This is what inner cities need, they need culture programs like this to stop crime," said Obalaji Baraka, who works for the city's recreation department and helped coordinate the event.
Americans woke up Monday morning to grisly news: From the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel, a 64-year-old gunman rained down fire on a crowded concert, indiscriminately killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500 others.
The chapter on Alias Grace, for example, dedicates a long section to women and “the discourse of madness,” a topic that was prominent in 1970s feminism, even though Tolan concludes (correctly) that the spirit of Atwood’s novel “post-dates” these debates (241).
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC, poet, novelist, critic (born 18 November 1939 in Ottawa, ON). A varied and prolific writer, Margaret Atwood is one of Canada's major contemporary authors. Atwood’s writing is noted for its careful craftsmanship and precision of language, which give a sense of inevitability and a resonance to her words. In her fiction Atwood has explored the issues of our time, capturing them in the satirical, self-reflexive mode of the contemporary novel. She has written to date a staggering 14 novels, nine short-story collections, 16 books of poetry, and ten volumes of non-fiction that have collectively garnered two Governor General’s Awards, a Prize, a Man Booker Prize and numerous other awards and accolades. A Companion of the , Margaret Atwood is among the most prolific and celebrated writers in Canadian history.
Similar representations of women’s bodies appear in a range of narrative contexts over the centuries: a sixteenth- century manual for soldiers, eighteenth-century epistolary fiction, pornography, dirty jokes, and the Disney version of Cinderella. As the name “female grotesque” implies, scholarly discussion of this tradition grows out of a dialogue, at once admiring and critical, with Mikhail Bakhtin’s influential concept of the grotesque body.
Margaret Atwood studied English, with minors in philosophy and French, at the from 1957 to 1961. She obtained an MA at Radcliffe College, Harvard in 1962. The influence of professors and directed her early poetry toward myth and archetype in her first book, Double Persephone (1961). Atwood's reputation as a poet was established when her second book, The Circle Game (1966), was awarded the .
Atwood travels frequently, and has often spent months at a time living in foreign countries, sometimes under conditions that a less flexible artist might find impossibly distracting. She started writing “The Handmaid’s Tale” on a clunky rented typewriter while on a fellowship in West Berlin, in 1984. (Orwell was on her mind.) She spent a winter in the remote English village of Blakeney, in Norfolk, where her only means of calling North America was a telephone kiosk that was usually used for storing potatoes, and where the stone-floored cottage in which she wrote was so cold that she developed chilblains on her toes. When her daughter, Jess, who was born in 1976, was eighteen months old, Atwood and her partner, the novelist Graeme Gibson, made a round-the-world trip. After winding through Europe, they visited Afghanistan—a keen student of military history, Atwood wanted to see the terrain where the British had been defeated—as well as India and Singapore. They proceeded to Australia, for the Adelaide Literary Festival, then returned to Canada, via Fiji and Hawaii. They made do with carry-on luggage the whole way. ^^