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Margaret Atwood (1939–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

(Margaret Eleanor Atwood)


Born 1939, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; married Jim Polk, 1967 Margaret Atwood (Photograph copyright © Christopher Felver/Corbis.)(divorced 1977); Education: University of Toronto, B.A., 1961; Radcliffe College, A.M., 1962; Harvard University, graduate study, 1962–63, 1965–67. Politics: "William Morrisite." Religion: "Immanent Transcendentalist."


Agent—c/o Author Mail, House of Anansi Press, 110 Spadina Ave., Ste. 801, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2K4, Canada.


Novelist, poet, and educator. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, lecturer in English literature, 1964–65; Sir George Williams University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, lecturer in English literature, 1967–68; York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, assistant professor of English literature, 1971–72; House of Anansi Press, Toronto, editor and member of board of directors, 1971–73; University of Toronto, writer-in-residence, 1972–73; University of Alabama—Tuscaloosa, writer-in-residence, 1985; New York University, New York, NY, Berg Visiting Professor of English, 1986; Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia, writer-in-residence, 1987. Formerly worked as a camp counselor and waitress.

Honors Awards

E.J. Pratt Medal, 1961, for Double Persephone; President's Medal, University of Western Ontario, 1965; YWCA Women of Distinction Award, 1966, 1988; Governor General's Award, 1966, for The Circle Game, and 1986, for The Handmaid's Tale; first prize in Canadian Centennial Commission Poetry Competition, 1967; Union Prize for poetry, 1969; Bess Hoskins Prize for poetry, 1969, 1974; City of Toronto Book Award, Canadian Booksellers' Association Award, and Periodical Distributors of Canada Short Fiction Award, all 1977, all for Dancing Girls, and Other Stories; St. Lawrence Award for fiction, 1978; Radcliffe Medal, 1980; Life before Man selected a notable book of 1980, American Library Association; Molson Award, 1981; Guggenheim fellowship, 1981; named companion, Order of Canada, 1981; International Writer's Prize, Welsh Arts Council, 1982; Book of the Year Award, Periodical Distributors of Canada/Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters, 1983, for Bluebeard's Egg, and Other Stories; named Woman of the Year, Ms. magazine, 1986; Ida Nudel Humanitarian Award, Toronto Arts Award for writing and editing, and Los Angeles Times Book Award, all 1986, and Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction, and Commonwealth Literature Prize, both 1987, all for The Handmaid's Tale; Council for the Advancement and Support of Education silver medal, 1987; Humanist of the Year award, 1987; Booker Prize shortlist, City of Toronto Book Award, Coles Book of the Year Award, Canadian Booksellers' Association Author of the Year Award, Foundation for Advancement of Canadian Letters citation, Periodical Marketers of Canada Award, and Torgi Talking Book Award, all 1989, all for Cat's Eye; Harvard University Centennial Medal, 1990; named to Order of Ontario, 1990; Trillium Award for Excellence in Ontario Writing, and Book of the Year Award, Periodical Marketers of Canada, both 1992, both for Wilderness Tips, and Other Stories; Commemorative Medal, 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation; Booker Prize shortlist, Trillium Award, Canadian Authors' Association Novel of the Year Award, Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Canadian and Caribbean Region, and Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, all 1994, and Swedish Humour Association's International Humourous Writer Award, 1995, all for The Robber Bride; named chevalier, French Order des Arts et des Lettres, 1994; Trillium Award, 1995, for Morning in the Burned House; Norwegian Order of Literary Merit, 1996; Booker Prize shortlist, and Giller Prize, both 1996, both for Alias Grace; International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award shortlist, Dublin City Library, 1998; Booker Prize, 2000, and Dashiell Hammett Award, International Association of Crime Writers, 2001, both for The Blind Assassin; Booker Prize shortlist, 2003, for Oryx and Crake; Enlightenment Award, Edinburgh International Festival, 2005. Recipient of honorary degrees from Trent University, 1973, Concordia University, 1980, Smith College, 1982, University of Toronto, 1983, Mount Holyoke College, 1985, University of Waterloo, 1985, University of Guelph, 1985, Victoria College, 1987, University of Montreal, 1991, University of Leeds, 1994, Queen's University, 1994, Oxford University, 1998, Cambridge University, 2001, and others.



(And illustrator) Up in the Tree (juvenile), McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1978, reprinted, Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

(With Joyce Barkhouse) Anna's Pet (juvenile), James Lorimer, 1980.

For the Birds, illustrated by John Bianchi, Firefly Books (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), 1991.

Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut (juvenile), illustrated by Maryann Kovalski, Workman (New York, NY), 1995.

Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes (juvenile), illustrated by Dušan Petričicć, Key Porter Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.

Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, illustrated by Dušan PetričIć, Key Porter Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.


Double Persephone, Hawkshead Press (Ontario, Canada), 1961.

The Circle Game, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1964, revised edition, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1978.

Kaleidoscopes Baroque: A Poem, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1965.

Talismans for Children, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1965.

Speeches for Doctor Frankenstein, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1966.

The Animals in That Country, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1968.

The Journals of Susanna Moodie, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1970.

Procedures for Underground, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.

Power Politics, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1971, Harper (New York, NY), 1973.

You Are Happy, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1974.

Selected Poems, 1965–1975, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1976, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1978.

Marsh Hawk, Dreadnaught Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1977.

Two-headed Poems, Oxford University Press, 1978, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1981.

Notes toward a Poem That Can Never Be Written, Salamander Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981.

True Stories, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982.

Snake Poems, Salamander Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983.

Interlunar, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1984.

Selected Poems II: Poems Selected and New, 1976–1986, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1986.

Morning in the Burned House, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.

Eating Fire: Selected Poetry, 1965–1995, Virago Press (London, England), 1998.

Also author of Expeditions, 1966, and What Was in the Garden, 1969.


The Edible Woman, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1969, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Surfacing, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1972, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1973, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Lady Oracle, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1976, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Life before Man, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1979, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Bodily Harm, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Encounters with the Element Man, William B. Ewert (Concord, NH), 1982.

Unearthing Suite, Grand Union Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983.

The Handmaid's Tale, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1985, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1986.

Cat's Eye, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1989.

The Robber Bride, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.

Alias Grace, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1996.

The Blind Assassin, Nan A. Talese (New York, NY), 2000.

Oryx and Crake, Nan A. Talese (New York, NY), 2003.

The Tent, Nan A. Talese, (New York, NY), 2006.


Dancing Girls, and Other Stories, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1977, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982, reprinted, Anchor Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Bluebeard's Egg, and Other Stories, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983, Anchor Doubleday (New York, NY), 1998.

Murder in the Dark: Short Fictions and Prose Poems, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1983.

Wilderness Tips, and Other Stories, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1991.

Good Bones, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992, published as Good Bones and Simple Murders, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1994.

A Quiet Game: And Other Early Works, edited and annotated by Kathy Chung and Sherrill Grace, Juvenilia Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1997.


The Trumpets of Summer (radio play), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC-Radio), 1964.

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1972.

The Servant Girl (teleplay), CBC-TV, 1974.

Days of the Rebels, 1815–1840, Natural Science Library, 1976.

The Poetry and Voice of Margaret Atwood (recording), Caedmon (New York, NY), 1977.

(Author of introduction) Catherine M. Young, To See Our World, GLC Publishers, 1979, Morrow (New York, NY), 1980.

Snowbird (teleplay), CBC-TV, 1981.

Second Words: Selected Critical Prose, House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982.

(Editor) The New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982.

(Editor with Robert Weaver) The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1986.

(With Peter Pearson) Heaven on Earth (teleplay), CBC-TV, 1986.

(Editor) The Canlit Foodbook, Totem Books (New York, NY), 1987.

(Editor with Shannon Ravenal) The Best American Short Stories, 1989, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1989.

(Editor with Barry Callaghan and author of introduction) The Poetry of Gwendolyn MacEwen, Exile Editions (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Volume 1: The Early Years, 1993, Volume 2: The Later Years, 1994.

Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature (lectures), Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1996.

Some Things about Flying, Women's Press (London, England), 1997.

(With Victor-Levy Beaulieu) Two Solicitudes: Conversations (interviews), translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

(Author of introduction) Women Writers at Work: The "Paris Review" Interviews, edited by George Plimpton, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.

Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing (nonfiction), Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

(Author of introduction) Ground Works: Avant-garde for Thee, edited by Christian Bök, House of Anansi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

Moving Targets: Writing with Intent, 1982–2004, House of Anansi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004, published as Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose, 1983–2005, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2005.

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (play), Knopf (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) 2005.

Contributor to anthologies, including Five Modern Canadian Poets, 1970; The Canadian Imagination: Dimensions of a Literary Culture, Harvard University Press, 1977; Women on Women, 1978; and Story of a Nation: Defining Moments in Our History, Doubleday Canada, 2001. Contributor to periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, New Yorker, Harper's, New York Times Book Review, Saturday Night, Tamarack Review, and Canadian Forum.

Atwood's works have been translated into French.


Reflections: Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer, a six-minute visual interpretation of Atwood's poem by the same name, was produced by Cinematics Canada, 1972, and by Universal as Poem as Imagery: Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer, 1974. The Journals of Susanna Moodie was adapted as a screenplay, Tranby, 1972; Surfacing was adapted for film, Pan-Canadian, 1979; The Handmaid's Tale was filmed by Cinecom Entertainment Group, 1989, and was adapted as an opera by Danish composer Poul Ruders, for the Royal Danish Opera Company, 2002. The Atwood Stories, adaptations of Atwood's fiction, appeared as six half-hour episodes on W Network. Many of Atwood's books have been adapted as audiobooks.


Margaret Atwood is considered one of Canada's major novelists and has attained a measure of celebrity; according to Ann Marie Lipinski, writing in the Chicago Tribune, the writer is "one of the leading literary luminaries, a national heroine of the arts, the rara avis of Canadian letters." Atwood's books, which have been highly lauded in the United States and Europe as well in as her native Canada, have won numerous literary awards, among them Great Britain's prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. In her works, she often examines the relationship between humanity and nature, and she also looks at power as it pertains to gender and politics, although she rejects the label of feminist that many have attached to her. Employing symbolism, irony, and self-conscious narrators, Atwood takes literary chances in her writing, borrowing techniques from science fiction and detective-genre fiction.

While Atwood's fame rests on such novels as The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, Cat's Eye, and The Blind Assassin, the author is also a published poet, playwright, essayist, and author of short fiction. She has also published books for younger readers throughout her decades-long career. Praised as a "silly romp" by a Publishers Weekly contributor, Atwood's 1996 picture book, Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, features a rhythmic text that rejoices in the sound of the letter "P" while telling the story of a pretty princess who is prompted to do three good deeds after a wise old woman weaves a convincing magic.

Born in 1939, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Atwood was raised in a tight-knit family that also included a brother and a sister. Until her late teens, she spent at least half the year in the remote regions of northern Ontario and Quebec, where her etymologist father researched forest insects for the Canadian government while the family lived in a cabin without running water or electricity. Educated by her mother, she delved into books of all sorts during these long sojourns away from civilization, particularly Greek and Celtic mythology and the often brutal fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm. Her family's itinerant lifestyle combined with her exposure to etymological and mythic metamorphosis to build a fascination with the concepts of destruction and rebirth as inevitabilities. As a six year old, Atwood had already started dabbling with poetry, writing a series she called "Rhyming Cats." The following year, in 1946, she and her family moved to Toronto, where her father took a university post. While attending Toronto's city schools, Atwood still spent half the year living close to nature in Canada's north woods.

By the time she reached high school, Atwood had decided to become a professional writer. As she told Kim Hubbard in People, she was somewhat frightened by her decision, for she had few female role models in her chosen profession. "Emily Dickinson lived in a cupboard, Charlotte Brontë died in childbirth. They were weird like Christina Rossetti, or they drank or committed suicide like Sylvia Plath. Writing seemed like a call to doom. I thought I would probably get [tuberculosis] and live in a garret and have a terrible life."

Graduating from Toronto's Leaside High School in 1957, Atwood attended the University of Toronto's Victoria College and entered the English honors program. Studying under well-known critic Northrop Frye, she became versed in the use of mythical and biblical imagery. As an undergraduate she wrote for the college literary magazine and had her first poem published at age nineteen. Four years later, in 1961, the soon-to-graduate Atwood published her first volume of poetry, the award-winning Double Persephone. She then earned an M.A. at Radcliffe College, studying Victorian literature, and also attended Harvard University. When her second poetry collection, The Circle Game, won Canada's Governor General's award in 1964, its author was teaching at the college level. Five years later, Atwood published her first novel, The Edible Woman, marking the start of her meteoric fiction-writing career.

Atwood's novels are known for their strong female characters. Early novels such as Surfacing, Bodily Harm, and the well-known The Handmaid's Tale feature female protagonists who are characteristic of Atwood: they are, as Judy Klemesrud reported in the New York Times, "intelligent, self-absorbed modern women searching for identity" who "hunt, split logs, make campfires and become successful in their careers, while men often cook and take care of their households." In Atwood's plots, the lives of these women are shattered by overwhelming threats: "cancer, divorce, violence—and those that persist quietly, naggingly—solitude, loneliness, desperation," according to Lipinski.

In The Handmaid's Tale Atwood draws readers into Gilead, a future America in which Fundamentalist Christians have killed the president and members of Congress and imposed their own patriarchal dictatorial rule. In this future world, polluted by toxic chemicals and nuclear radiation, few women can bear children and the birthrate has dropped alarmingly. Those women able to bear children are forced to become "Handmaids," Gilead's official breeders, while those not deemed suitable are reduced to slaves under the repressive religious government. As Elaine Kendall explained in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Atwood's novel is strongly grounded in current laws and regulations, and depicts "a future firmly based upon actuality, beginning with events that have already taken place and extending them a bit beyond the inevitable conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale does not depend upon hypothetical scenarios, omens, or straws in the wind, but upon documented occurrences and public pronouncements; all matters of record." Atwood's Oryx and Crake also draws readers into a provocative future world, this time focusing on a man who, his psyche shattered by violent memories, attempts to make sense of the post-apocalyptic wasteland he now inhabits.

In Cat's Eye Atwood narrows her focus and explores the dynamic of a family that resembles, on its surface, the one she was raised in, with its etymologist father, unconventional mother, and home-schooled children. However, the novel's pivotal tragedy hinges on the cruelty of children. The story focuses on Elaine, a successful painter who returns to her family's home in Toronto for an exhibition of her work. In a flashback to her childhood, Elaine relives her time with her childhood nemesis, a girl named Cordelia whom Elaine thought was her best friend but who actually made Elaine the object of a series of potentially deadly pranks. The young Elaine feels helpless to defend herself and is unable to confide in her parents. As Cordelia enters her teen years, however, she becomes overweight and unhappy, and she eventually goes insane. By the book's conclusion, the adult Elaine discovers how these events have influenced her art and her life. As Hermione Lee noted of Cat's Eye in the New Republic, "Under Atwood's sharp satire on girls' codes is a nightmare of persecution, which is the ugly heart of the novel…. Atwood's account of this torture is horrifyingly brilliant, and will strike home to anyone who was ever involved in childhood gang warfare, whether as bullier or bullied."

Alias Grace and the Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin venture into the genre of historical fiction. The Blind Assassin draws readers back to the early twentieth century to explore a family tragedy and its aftershocks. Based on an actual incident, Alias Grace centers on Grace Marks, a servant found guilty of murdering her employer and his mistress in northern Canada in 1843. Some doubt Grace's guilt, however, and as she serves out her sentence of life in prison with no memory of the murders, reformers agitate for clemency. In a quest for evidence to support their position, they assign a young doctor, Simon Jordan, who is versed in the new science of psychiatry, to evaluate her soundness of mind. Over many meetings, Grace tells the doctor the harrowing story of her life, which has been marked by extreme hardship. Much about Grace, though, remains puzzling: she is haunted by flashbacks of the supposedly forgotten murders and by a woman who died from a mishandled abortion. Praised by many reviewers for its evocation of day-to-day life during the mid-1800s, Alias Grace was dubbed "pure enchantment" by Los Angeles Times Book Review critic Richard Eder. Reviewing the novel in Maclean's, Diane Turbide wrote of Atwood's complex protagonist that Grace is more than an intriguing character: she is also "the lens through which Victorian hypocrisies are mercilessly exposed."

Like her adult novels, Atwood's books for children also depict a world slightly off-kilter, but instead of looming secrets, murderous servants, and the threat of cultural annihilation young readers are introduced to petulant princesses, likeable misfits, and challenges that resolve in happy-ending fashion. In fact, books like Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, and Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut provide Atwood with an excuse to engage in all manner of wordplay. While her first book for children, 1976's self-illustrated and hand-lettered Up the Tree, relates a simple story that Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg deemed "whimsical" and a "refreshing return to basics," the generous helping of humorous alliterations, slapstick plot-lines, and complex vocabulary to be found in Atwood's more recent books make them almost interactive: readers need to keep a dictionary at the ready in order to get the writer's most sophisticated jokes. Still, these books appeal on several levels, and as Resource Links reviewer Adriane Pettit noted of Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, "the wittiness and creativity in this wonderful tongue-twisting book make it an enjoyable read" for both adults and children. While a Publishers Weekly contributor cautioned that readers of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes might "feel overstuffed with rococo remarks" as they tackle Atwood's tale about a clueless man who, with his pet rat Ralph, leaves his "ramshackle rectangular residence" and eventually finds a new home with red-haired Rillah (who lives, not surprisingly, in a rectory), other critics disagreed. In Kirkus Reviews a contributor praised Atwood's text as "both amusing and enlightening in its use of rich vocabulary," while School Library Journal writer Caroline Ward maintained that the author's "command of wordplay is impressive, and unfamiliar words … may afford youngsters an opportunity for vocabulary enrichment."

Although her writing has been grist to many critics and scholars, and has been labeled everything from Cana-In Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, illustrated by Dušan Petričić, the life story of Atwood's well-meaning hero is peppered with the letter "R." (Text copyright © 2003 by Margaret Atwood. Illustrations copyright © 2003 by Dušan Petričić. Reproduced by permission of Bloomsbury Children's Books.)dian nationalist and feminist to gothic, the versatile Atwood continues to defy easy categorization and her books are enjoyed as much for their compelling plots and characters as for their intellectual depth. Writing in Saturday Night, Linda Sandler described the writer as "all things to all people … a nationalist … a feminist or a psychologist or a comedian … a maker and breaker of myths … a gothic writer. She's all these things, but finally she's unaccountably … elusive, complex, passionate." In World and I Linda Simon quoted Atwood's comments regarding the central quandary of choosing a writer's life: "There's always this tug of war. If you're writing, you're not living, and if you're living you're not writing. So which are you going to do?"

Biographical and Critical Sources


Bloom, Harold, editor, Margaret Atwood, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2000.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 2, 1974, Volume 3, 1975, Volume 4, 1975, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 13, 1980, Volume 15, 1980, Volume 25, 1983, Volume 44, 1987.

Cooke, Nathalie, Margaret Atwood: A Biography, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 53: Canadian Writers since 1960, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1986.

Howells, Coral Ann, Margaret Atwood, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Ingersoll, Earl G., editor, Waltzing Again: New and Selected Conversations with Margaret Atwood, Ontario Review Press (Princeton, NJ), 2006.

McCombs, Judith, and Carole L. Palmer, Margaret Atwood: A Reference Guide, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1991.

St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Sullivan, Rosemary, The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out, HarperFlamingo Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

Twigg, Alan, For Openers: Conversations with Twenty-four Canadian Writers, Harbour, 1981.

Woodcock, George, The Canadian Novel in the Twentieth Century, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1975.


Booklist, December 15, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, p. 702; June 1, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of The Blind Assassin, p. 1796; April 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Up in the Tree, p. 47.

Books in Canada, January, 1979; December, 1980, review of Anna's Pet, p. 18; June-July, 1980: March, 1981; December, 1995, review of Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, p. 18.

Canadian Book Review Annual, 2003, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 445.

Canadian Forum, February, 1970, John Stedmond, review of The Edible Woman, p. 267; January, 1973; November-December, 1974; December-January, 1977–78; June-July, 1981, Chaviva Hosek and Scott Lauder, review of True Stories; December-January, 1981–82, Frank Davey, review of Life after Man, pp. 29-30.

Canadian Review of Materials, March, 1991, review of For the Birds, p. 93.

Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), July 7, 1984; October 5, 1985; October 19, 1985; February 15, 1986; November 15, 1986; November 29, 1986; November 14, 1987.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2004, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 802.

Library Journal, August 9, 2000, Beth E. Andersen, review of The Blind Assassin; December, 2003, Laurie Selwyn, review of Oryx and Crake, p. 184

Los Angeles Times, March 2, 1982; April 22, 1982; May 9, 1986; January 12, 1987; September 26, 2000, p. E1.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 17, 1982; February 9, 1986, Elaine Kendall, review of The Handmaid's Tale; December 23, 1987; November 14, 1993, pp. 3, 11; December 15, 1996, Richard Eder, review of Alias Grace, p. 2.

Maclean's, January 15, 1979; October 15, 1979, Roy MacGregor, review of Life before Man; December 15, 1980, Ann Johnston, review of Anna's Pet, p. 52; March 30, 1981; October 5, 1992, John Bemrose, review of Good Bones; October 3, 1993, Judith Timson, "Atwood's Triumph," pp. 56-61; February 6, 1995, John Bemrose, review of Morning in the Burned House; September 23, 1996, Diane Turbide, "Amazing Atwood," pp. 42-45; October 14, 1996, p. 11; July 1, 1999, Margaret Atwood, "Survival, Then and Now," p. 54; September 11, 2000, John Bemrose, review of Margaret's Museum, p. 54.

New York Review of Books, December 16, 1993, Gabrielle Annan, review of The Robber Bride, pp. 14-15; December 19, 1996, Hilary Mantel, review of Alias Grace, pp. 4-6.

New York Times, December 23, 1976; January 10, 1980; February 8, 1980; March 6, 1982, Anatole Broyard, review of Bodily Harm, p. 13; March 28, 1982, Judy Klemesrud, "Canada's High Priestess of Angst," p. 21; September 15, 1982; January 27, 1986, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of The Handmaid's Tale, p. C24; February 17, 1986, Mervyn Rothstein, "Atwood Finds No Balm in Gilead," p. C11; November 5, 1986; October 26, 1993, Michiko Kakutani, review of The Robber Bride, p. C20; November 23, 1993, Sarah Lyall, "An Author Who Lets Women Be Bad Guys," pp. C13, C16; September 8, 2000, Michiko Kakutani, review of The Blind Assassin, p. E43.

New York Times Book Review, October 18, 1970, Millicent Bell, review of The Edible Woman; March 4, 1973; April 6, 1975; September 26, 1976; May 21, 1978; February 3, 1980, Marilyn French, review of Life before Man, pp. 1, 26; October 11, 1981; February 9, 1986, Mary McCarthy, "Breeders, Wives, and Un-women," pp. 1, 35; February 5, 1989, Alice McDermott, "What Little Girls Are Really Made Of," pp. 1, 35; October 31, 1993, Lorrie Moore, review of The Robber Bride, pp. 1, 22; December 11, 1994, Jennifer Howard, review of Good Bones and Simple Murders; April 28, 1996, p. 22; December 29, 1996, Francine Prose, review of Alias Grace, p. 6; September 3, 2000, p. 7.

People, May 19, 1980; February 27, 1989, Susan Toepfer, review of Cat's Eye, pp. 22-23; March 6, 1989, Kim Hubbard, "Reflected in Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye, Girlhood Looms as a Time of Cruelty and Terror," pp. 205-206; December 18, 1995, review of Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, August 23, 1976; October 3, 1994, review of Good Bones and Simple Murders; August 28, 1995, pp. 107-108; January 1, 1996, review of Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, p. 70; October 7, 1996, p. 58; April 13, 1998, p. 65; July 24, 2000, review of The Blind Assassin, p. 67, and interview with Atwood, p. 68; August 23, 2004, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 54.

Quill & Quire, April, 1981, Robert Sward, review of True Stories; September, 1984; September, 1995, review of Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, p. 73.

Resource Links, December, 2003, Denise Parrott, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 1; April, 2005, Adriane Pettit, review of Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, p. 1.

School Library Journal, November, 2004, Caroline Ward, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 90.

Times (London, England), March 13, 1986; June 4, 1987; June 10, 1987; January 26, 1989, Philip Howard, review of Cat's Eye; November 8, 2000, p. 3.

Times Literary Supplement, March 21, 1986; June 12, 1987; September 29, 2000, p. 24.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), November 21, 1993, p. 1.

Washington Post Book World, September 26, 1976; December 3, 1978; January 27, 1980; March 14, 1982; February 2, 1986; November 7, 1993, Francine Prose, review of The Robber Bride, p. 1; September 3, 2000, Michael Dirda, review of The Blind Assassin, pp. 15-16; November 7, 2004, Elizabeth Ward, review of Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, p. 12.

Writer's Digest, October, 2000, p. 34.

World and I, January, 2003, Linda Simon, "Words and Their Glories: Margaret Atwood's Journey," p. 236.


Atwood Society Web site, http://www.mscd.edu/∼atwoodso/ (May 10, 2006).

Margaret Atwood Information Site, http://www.owtoad.com/ (May 10, 2006).

Random House Web site, http://www.randomhouse.com/ (May 10, 2006), "Margaret Atwood."

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Miguel Angel Asturias: 1899-1974: Writer to Don Berrysmith Biography - Grew up in the Pacific Northwest