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Margaret Eleanor "Peggy" Atwood is a novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and a pioneer of Canadian women's writing. She was born November 18, 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto.
She earned a B.A. in English from Victoria College, University of Toronto, and an M.A. from Harvard. Atwood has had a distinguished career in teaching including positions at the University of British Columbia (1964-1965), Sir George Williams University (Concordia University) (1967-1968), York University (1971-1972) and New York University (1986). Her first book of poetry, Double Persephone, was published in 1961, followed by The Circle Games (1966), which won the Governor General’s Award in Poetry. She published her first novel, The Edible Woman in 1969, and subsequently wrote Procedures for Underground (1970) and The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970). Her most well-known novels include: The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), the Blind Assassin (2000), which was the Booker Prize, and Orynx and Crake (2003). Her complete and up-to date bibliography can be accessed here: http://margaretatwood.ca/full-bibliography-2/. Her work has been translated into many languages and published in more than twenty-five countries.
Among her numerous honors and awards are the Governor General’s Award, the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Molson Award, the Ida Nudel Humanitarian Award, and a Canada Short Fiction Award. She was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1981 and inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001. She has served as a Writer-In-Residence at the University of Toronto (1972-1973), Mcquarrie University (1987) and Trinity University (1989). She has previously worked as an editor at Anansi Press (1971-1973), is a founder of the Writers’ Trust of Canada and was President of PEN Canada (1984-1986). She lives in Toronto.
Ottawa, 1939-45; Sault Ste. Marie, 1945; Toronto, 1946-61; Boston, Mass., 1961-63; Toronto, 1963-64; Vancouver, 1964-65; Boston, Mass.1965-67; Montreal, 1967-68; Edmonton, 1968-70; England (London), France, Italy, 1970-71; Toronto, 1971-73; Alliston, Ontario, 1973-80; Toronto, 1980-83; England, Germany, 1983-84; Alabama, 1985; Toronto, 1986-91; France, 1992; Toronto, 1992-present.
Functions, occupations and activities
Lecturer in English, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1964-65;
Instructor in English, Sir George Williams University, Montreal, 1967-68;
University of Alberta, 1969-70;
Assistant Professor of English, York University, Toronto, 1971-72;
Writer-In-Residence, University of Toronto, 1972-73;
M.F.A. Honorary Chair, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1985;
Berg Chair, New York University, 1986;
Writer-In-Residence, Macquarie Univ., Australia, 1987;
Writer-In-Residence, Trinity Univ., San Antonio, Texas, 1989.
Margaret Atwood was President of the Writers’ Union of Canada from May 1981 to May 1982, and was President of International P.E.N., Canadian Centre (English Speaking) from 1984-1986. She and Graeme Gibson are the Joint Honourary Presidents of the Rare Bird Society within BirdLife International. Ms. Atwood is also a current Vice-President of PEN International.
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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto
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Author's website, http://www.margaretatwood.ca