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Atwood’s latest awards

From Maggie Fergusson in More Intelligent Life

On November 28 at the Canada House on Trafalgar Square, Margaret Atwood was named a Companion of Literature and inaugurated as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. No more than ten writers are Companions at any one time, and it is considered the RSL’s highest honor. 

Fellows sign into a great roll book using either Byron’s pen or Dickens’s quill; Atwood used Dickens’ quill. (Though she tested both out first in the editor’s notebook).

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Atwood wrote in Fergusson’s notebook, trying out Byron’s pen first (“This is written with Lord Byron’s pen with however a modern nib. NIB”)

A woman in the audience asked about the future of gender relations; Atwood responded with, “Here’s a shocking piece of news for you: not all women are nice.” But, Fergusson reminds us, Atwood has a warmer side, too. “Speaking about her appetite for new technology—Twitter, Wattpad, Byliner—she revealed an overwhelming desire to ‘enable literature’ among people without regular access to bookshops, or libraries.”


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