Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood “There is so much silence between the words..” SOCI 4019 September 29, 1999. An Overview of Works, Styles, and Themes Margaret Atwood has written a great number of novels and other forms of literature. The major press editions are as follows: ~ WORKS~ Poetry 1964, The Cirle Game 1968, The Animals in That Country 1970, The Journals of Susanna Moodie 1970, Procedures for Underground 1971, Power Politics 1974, You are Happy 1978, Selected Poems 1978, Two-Headed Poems 1981, True Stories 1984, Interlunar 1987, Selected Poems II: Poems Selected and New, 1976-1986 1990, Selected Poems 1966-1975 1995, Morning in the Burned House Short Fiction 1977, “Dancing Girls” 1983, “Murder in the Dark” 1983, “Bluebeard’s Egg” 1991, “Wilderness Tips” 1992, “Good Bones” Novels 1969, The Edible Woman 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale 1972, Surfacing 1988, Cat’s Eye 1976, Lady Oracle 1993, The Robber Bride 1979, Life Before Man 1996, Alias Grace 1981, Bodily Harm Children’s Books 1978, Up in the Tree 1980, Anna’s Pet 1990, For the Birds 1995, Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut Non-Fiction 1972, Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature 1977, Days of the Rebels 1815-1840 1982, Second Words: Selected Critical Prose 1995, Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature Edited 1982, The New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English 1986, The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English 1987, The Canlit Foodbook 1989, The Best American Short Stories 1995, The New Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English ~ STYLE ~ Although many have used Margaret Atwoods style of writing poetry, not one has yet to compete with her words. Typically, Margaret sticks to formal style of poetry, using original text with separated stanzas. Margarets stlye of writing gives an overwhelming effect to the reader; moreover, her style of writing adjusts to the theme of the particular piece.

~ THEMES ~ The essential features of Atwoods fictions and poetry has been described as a search for a personal and national identity. Survival is a central theme throughout her works, as is the quest for self unity. Biography 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.

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There were bears and wolves and moose and loons” ( qtd. in “Author Profile”). While this lifestyle was exciting, she did not have most modern conviences and technology. To entertain herself, Atwood read books. They became her only means for entertainment and escape.

“I read them all, even when they werent supposed to be for children” (qtd. in “Author Profile”). 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. Ten years later, Atwood decided that she only wanted to write. She wanted to live a double life; to go places she had not been before; to examine life on earth; to come to know people in ways, and at depths, that were otherwise impossible; to be surprised; and to give something of what she had received.

Two years after this life-altering decision, Atwood entered Victoria College at the University of Toronto. She received her bachelors degree from Victoria College in 1961, and then went on to receive her Masters degree from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Atwood also received education from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during 1962-63 and 1965-67. Atwood began her career through self-publication. She sold these books for fifty cents each. During this period, Atwood married Graeme Gibson, a fellow writer who was born in London, Ontario, in 1934.

Togehter, they have three grown children and two cats. Although Atwood both grew up and resides presently in Canada, she ahs lived in numerous cities throughout the world. The Canadian residences include Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Alliston, and Vancouver. In the United States, Atwood has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and in Alabama.

She has also lived and travelled in England, France, Italy , and Germany. Geographical, Historical, Political and Social Influences With respect to the fact that Atwood was raised, and spent most of her childhood in the Canadian wilderness, it is safe to say that her geographical surroundings influenced her in several ways. While residing in the wilderness of Canada, Atwood discovered her ture passion – literature. Some say that if Atwood had not been in the wilderness, but rather around the arising technology others were surrounded by, perhaps we would not have such magical works in our presence today. Although Atwood has struck upon many touchy subjects in literature, she has yet to be significantly influenced by historical perspectives.

She may look to her past for a historical standpoint, or other significant women of the past; however, Atwood is known well for her futuristic, and her in the now approach to writing. As far as literature and internet resources today, it appears the Atwood was not influenced in any means by a political outlook. The closest that one may come to assuming her political influence would be in her 1979 novel, “Life Before Man”. For many individuals in todays society, it is quite hard to avoid being socially influenced in everyday life; therefore, to believe that no one author is socially influenced in their writing is simply unfathomable. Awards, Critical and Reader Reviews AWARDS Margaret Atwood has received a great number of awards and honarary degrees: 1961, E.J. Pratt Medal 1965, Presidents Metal, University of Western Ontario 1966, Governor Generals Award, Circle Game 1967, Centennial Commision Potry Competition, First 1969, Union Poetry Prize, Poetry ( Chicago) 1974, The Bess Hoskins Prize, Poetry (Chicago) 1977, The City of Toronto Book Award 1977, The Canadian Booksellers Association Award 1977, Periodical Distributors of Canada Short Fiction 1978, St.Lawrence Award for Fiction 1980, Radcliffe Graduate Medal 1981, Molson Award 1981, Guggenheim Fellowship 1981, Companion of the order of Canada 1982, Welsh Arts Council Internationl Writers Prize 1983, Periodical Distributors of Canada and the Foundation for The Advancement of Canadian Letters Book of the Year Award 1986, Ida Nudel Humanitarian Award 1986, Toronto Arts Award 1986, Governor Generals Award, The Handmaids Tale 1986, Los Angeles Times Fiction Award 1986, Ms. Magazine, Woman of the Year 1987, Shortlisted for the Booker Prize (England) 1987, Shortlisted for the Ritz Hemingway Prize (Paris) 1987, Arthur C. Clarke Award for best Science Fiction 1987, Commonwealth Literary Prize, Regional Winner 1987, Council for Advancement and support of Education, Silver Medal, Best Article of the Year 1987, Humanist of the Year Award 1987, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada 1988, YWCA Women Distinction Award 1988, National Magazine Award for Environmental Journalism, First Prize 1988, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Honorary member, Literature (cont..) 1989, Torgi Talking Book (CNIB), Cats Eye 1989, Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters in conjuction with the periodical Maketers of Canada Book of the Year, Cats Eye 1989, Shortlisted for the Booker Prize of the Year, Cats Eye, (England) 1990, Order of Ontario 1990, Centennial Medal, Harvard University 1992, Trillium Award for Excellence in Ontario Writing, Wilderness Tips 1992, John Hughes Prize, from the Welsh Development Board 1992, Book of the Year Award from the Periodical Marketers of Canada, Wilderness Tips 1993, Canadian Authors Association Novel of the Year, The Robber Bride 1994, Commerative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation 1994, Trillium Award for Excellence in Ontario Writing, The Robber Bride 1994, Government of Frances Chevalier dans lOrdre des Arts st des lettres 1994, Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, (London, UK) 1995, Swedish Humour Associations Internatioinal Humerous Writer Award 1995, Best Local Author, NOW Magazine Readers Poll 1995, Trillium Award for EXcellence in Ontario Writing, Morning in the Burned House 1996, Norwegian Order of Literary Merit 1996, Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Alias Grace, (England) 1996, Best Local Author, NOW Magazine Readers Poll 1996, The Giller Prize; for Alias Grace.