Margaret Atwood: Biography

Margaret Atwood

18 nov 1939

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty different books, across the genres of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature. Atwood has written 17 novels, and has been shortlisted for the Booker prize five times. She was awarded the prize once in 2000 for her novel The Blind Assassin. She has also been award the Governor General’s Prize on two separate occasions. Margaret Atwood’s works have been translated into more than 40 languages.

Though her novels, such as Oryx and Crake and The Handmaid’s Tale, are often labelled science fiction, Margaret Atwood resists the label. Atwood prefers to call her books speculative fiction, since she says that “the science fiction label belongs to books with things in them which we can’t yet do.” Nevertheless, she was awarded the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987, which is awarded to the best science fiction novel published in the United Kingdom that year.

Margaret Atwood’s novels commonly portray feminist politics, particularly through emphasis on the suffering of women. Though she has said that this feminism was unintentional, Margaret Atwood says that “My women suffer because most of the women I talk to have suffered.”

Aside from her writing, Margaret Atwood is notably involved in many political issues, including the issues of Canadian identity, and Environmentalism. Atwood regularly comments on Canada’s relationship with the United States in her non-fiction writing, and is a strong supporter of the Green Party of Canada. Though she was married briefly, Margaret Atwood now lives with the Canadian writer Graeme Gibson in Toronto.