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Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of many books, including collections of poetry, essays, and stories, as well as works of speculative fiction that include some of her best-known novels. She received the Booker Prize for The Blind Assassin (2000), the Giller Prize for Alias Grace (1996), and the Governor General’s Award for The Handmaid’s Tale (1986). Her other notable works include, among others, the trilogy Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (Bloomsbury, 2013).


An Appreciation of Alice Munro

Summer 2006 | Essays

The fifties were a very male period of writing in the United States. America didn’t have a tradition of women writers. Who, among women, were admired? Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter. Among poets? Emily Dickinson. How many others? In Canada, you didn’t get points off for being a woman. The challenge wasn’t so much being female as it was being Canadian. Embroidery, oil painting, writing, it was all considered a hobby. Writing wasn’t important. There was hardly a market for new novels.


A Soap Bubble Hovering Over the Void: A Tribute to Carol Shields

Winter 2005 | Essays

I began reading Carol Shields' books many years ago, with The Box Garden. In that novel there's a passage that made me laugh so hard I thought I would do myself an injury. It's the chapter describing a mother with scant taste but a lot of energy, who spends her time like a down-market and rather crazed Martha Stewart, relentlessly decorating her modest house—papering and re-papering its walls, hand-painting its lampshades, dyeing its scatter rugs—much to the alarm of her adolescent daughter, who never knows what new, ferocious colour the house will be when she gets home from school.