arts and culture | October 16, 2011

Globe on Margaret Atwood: Saving Libraries, Breaking Literary Stereotypes

Literary icon Margaret Atwood possesses an incredibly wide cultural range and impact—a fact that's abundantly clear in a new Globe and Mail story that spans her recent accomplishments, including a highly publicized push to save Toronto’s public libraries and the release of her new non-fiction book on science fiction, In Other Worlds. The piece gives an interesting glimpse into the mind of Atwood, from her quips about a crow's memory (they'll definitely remember you if you shoot at them) to the “horrifying” Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the distinctions between speculative and science fiction and the complexities that arise when you pigeonhole certain genres of fiction.

From the article, on defining her writing:

The world of the wonder tale is so rich as to make the realm of the modern realistic novel seems paltry by comparison. In fact, Atwood contends, many of the most popular fictions today are not really novels at all. People today use the term “novel” simply to denote fiction of a certain length, she says. “That’s how they’re using it, but it’s not useful.” In her schema, the time-honoured name for non-realistic fiction is romance. “In the novel tradition, we expect the work to resemble real life,” she says. “In the romance tradition, we expect it not to resemble real life.”

The Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin, among over forty books, Margaret Atwood is a rare writer whose work is adored by the public, acclaimed by the critics, and studied on university campuses around the world. Though her subject matter varies, the precision crafting of her language—she is also a renowned poet—gives her body of work, and speeches, a sensibility entirely their own.

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innvovation + the arts | October 13, 2011