Margareth Eleanor Atwood

Margareth Atwood. Poet, novelist, literary critic


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  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Biography
  • 3 Advanced studies
  • 4 Appointments
  • 5 Awards
  • 6 Literary trajectory
  • 7 Sources


Margaret Eleanor Atwood (Ottawa, November 18, 1939) is a prolific poet, novelist, literary critic and Canadian political activist. He is a member of the human rights body Amnesty International and one of the people who preside over BirdLife International, in defense of birds. He currently divides his time between Toronto and Pelee Island, in Ontario. «I just finished a new book. It is going to be published in 2009 and is called Payback , something like retaliating and then getting something in return; The best word to translate it would be “revenge.” It has to do, not with money, but with balance and justice. It also takes the issue of revenge and debt to nature. The Payback has a subtitle that refers to the dark and sinister of wealth.


She is the second of three children of Carl Edmund Atwood , a zoologist , and Margaret Dorothy William , a nutritionist. Because of his father’s research on forest entomology , Atwood spent much of his childhood between northern Quebec , Ottawa and Toronto . She soon became an avid reader of all kinds of literature, from mystery novels, to tales of the Grimm brothers , stories about Canada and comics. He went to the institute in Leaside, Toronto. Atwood began writing at age 16. In 1957 he began his university studies at Victoria University in Toronto . He had as teachers aJay Macpherson and Northrop Frye , who directed their initial poetry ( Double Persephone ) towards the theme of myths and archetypes. She graduated in 1961 as a graduate in English philology, also studying French and philosophy. In 1968, he married Jim Polk , who he divorced in 1973. Then, he married the novelist Graeme Gibson , with whom he moved to Ontario , north of Toronto. In 1976 they had their daughter Eleanor Jess Atwood Gibson . He returned to Toronto in 1980.

Advanced Studies

In the fall of 1961, after winning the EJ Pratt Medal for his book of poems Double Persephone, he began his postgraduate studies at Radcliffe College at Harvard University with a Woodrow Wilson research grant . He obtained a master’s degree at Radcliffe in 1962 and continued studying two more years at Harvard. He has taught at the University of British Columbia (1965), at Sir George Williams University in Montreal (1967-1968), at the University of Alberta (1969-1979), at the University of York in Toronto (1971-1972) , and at the University of New York.


-Vice President of the Writers Union of Canada since 1980 -President of the International PEN, an association of writers to foster contact and cooperation between authors from around the world that is responsible for promoting freedom of expression and freeing writers who They are political prisoners. – Majority partner of Massey College at the University of Toronto – Sixteen honorary degrees – Doctorate of Victoria College (1987) – It is included in the Canadian Walk of Fame since 2001. – Member of the Royal Society of Canada – Member of the Order of Canada – Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences – Honorary President of Birdlife International, together with her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado, from Japan, elected at the congress in Buenos Aires,


-Medalla EJ Pratt (1961) for his book of poems Double Persephone -Governor General’s Award, for The Circle Game (1966) -Toronto Book Award, for Lady Oracle (1977) -Canadian Booksellers Award, for Lady Oracle (1977) -Toronto Book Award, for Dancing Girls (1977) -Canadian Booksellers Award, for Dancing Girls (1977) -Periodical Distributors of Canada Short Fiction Award, for Dancing Girls (1977) -Periodical Distributors of Canada for Bluebeard’s Egg (1983) -Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters Book of the Year Award, for Bluebeard’s Egg (1983) -Governor General’s Award, for The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) -Los Angeles Times Prize, for The Handmaid’s Tale -Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction, for The Handmaid’s Tale -Commonwealth Literary Prize,by The Handmaid’s Tale – Prince of Asturias Award for Letters (June 25, 2008)

Literary career

Atwood has written novels of different genres and books of poems. Also scripts for television, such as The Servant Girl (1974) and Days of the Rebels: 1815-1840 (1977). She is described as a feminist writer, since the theme of gender is present in some of her works in a prominent way. He has focused on Canadian identity, on this country’s relations with the United States of America and Europe, on human rights, on environmental issues, on Canadian moors, on social myths about femininity, on the representation of the body of women in art, the social and economic exploitation of it, as well as the relations of women with each other and with men. In 1969 he published The Edible Woman, which echoed the social marginalization of women. In Procedures for Underground (1970) and The Journals of Susana Moodie (1970), In his following poetry books, the characters have difficulty accepting the irrational. The latter may be his best known poetic work; in it, writes from the point of view of Susana Moodie, a pioneer of the colonization of the Canadian border of the nineteenth century. With the work Power Politics (1971) he uses words as a refuge for weak women who face male strength. As a literary critic, he is well known for his work Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972), defined as the most amazing book written on Canadian literature and which managed to increase interest in the literature of this country. That year, Surfacing published, a novel where the conflict between nature and technology is formulated in political terms. With great success and endorsed by critics, he wrote You Are Happy (1974), and her third novel, Lady Oracle (1976), a parody of fairy tales and love novels. In 1978, he published Two-Headed Poems, which explores the duplicity of language, and Up in the Tree, a children’s book. His next novel, Life Before Man (1979), is more traditional than his previous fiction books and focuses on a series of love triangles. Atwood has always been interested in human rights, which is reflected in his poetry book True Stories (1981) and the novel Bodily Harm (1981). He published Second Words (1982), sample of one of the first feminist works written in Canada; That same year he directed the revision of the Oxford Book of Canadian Poetry, which placed it at the head of the Canadian poets of his generation. Atwood continues to write, with great success for critics and its readers.


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