The Margaret Atwood Society is an international association of scholars, teachers, and students who share an interest in Atwood’s work. The main goal of the Society is to promote scholarly exchange of Atwood’s works and cultural contributions by providing opportunities for scholars to exchange information. To reach this goal, we publish a journal, Margaret Atwood Studies, and we host several panels each year on Atwood at various academic conferences, including at the Modern Language Association Convention (MLA), Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE), and the Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA). (See the Calls for Papers tab to learn more). To let us know about current Atwood-scholarship-related news or events, please email us the appropriate information. We will include your news on this site and/or our Facebook page and Twitter feed. We welcome your friendship and comments on Facebook and Twitter, whether or not you join the Society. We also welcome you to interact with us on LinkedIn.
If you’d like to join the society, please see the Membership page.
Note: For contact information for Margaret Atwood, see the contact listings on her official website. (You might also have luck @ replying her on Twitter). We do not forward messages or materials to Ms. Atwood.
Margaret Atwood’s early works of fiction, drama and verse, with her colourful illustrations, are published here for the first time. They reflect her formative years in the woods of northern Ontario and Quebec, her engagement with animals, and the wideranging imagination and humour that also inform her novels.
Edited by Nora Foster Stovel and Donna Couto.
Preface and Illustrations by Margaret Atwood.
Price: $15 (AUD)
With scholarly annotation, a note on the text, and a critical introduction, this edition also includes photographs from the author and a newly discovered early short story.
Order direct from their website:
Click on “Order a Book” and select “For international purchases”.
The MLA Press published Approaches to Teaching Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Other Works in 1996. Now the press is seeking contributions for a new volume to explore both the teaching of Atwood’s publications since that time and 21st-century approaches to her earlier works, such as strategies for teaching The Handmaid’s Tale that draw on the Hulu TV series, the graphic novel, and/or The Testaments.
If you would like to propose an original essay for the upcoming Approaches to Teaching the Works of Margaret Atwood volume, please submit an abstract of approximately 500 words in which you describe your approach or topic and explain its usefulness. The focus of your essay should be pedagogical, and the abstract should be as specific as possible. Please send your abstract and a short CV to Lauren Rule Maxwell (firstname.lastname@example.org) by August 31, 2020. Please send any supplemental materials (e.g., course descriptions, course plans, syllabi, assignments, bibliographies, or other relevant documents) as separate attachments. Surface mail submissions can be sent to Lauren Rule Maxwell; Department of English, Fine Arts, and Communications; The Citadel; 171 Moultrie Street; Charleston, SC 29409.
The Margaret Atwood Society is thrilled to announce what we hope is the first of many conferences completely dedicated to the works of Margaret Atwood, this multidisciplinary conference, to be titled “‘Artpolitical’ – Margaret Atwood’s Aesthetics,” will be hosted by University of Göttingen, Germany and will be held October 14, 15, and 16, 2021. The conference will be conducted entirely in English. The conference is created and chaired by longstanding Atwood Society member Dr. Dunja Mohr, Erfurt University and her colleague and fellow Atwood Society member Dr. Kirsten Sandrock, Göttingen University. Frankfurt (FRA) is the nearest international airport.
Full CFP and additional information can be found here.
On November 10, 2020, Margaret Atwood will release a collection of poetry, her first poetry collection since 2007’s The Door.
On its page, publisher HarperCollins says Atwood “addresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, the nature of nature and – zombies. Her new poetry is introspective and personal in tone, but wide-ranging in topic. In poem after poem, she casts her unique imagination and unyielding, observant eye over the landscape of a life carefully and intuitively lived.”
Atwood will narrate the audiobook herself, according to The Guardian.
The 92 minute documentary on Atwood’s life and literary career, Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power screens at the Lightbox in Toronto on Nov. 7. It then opens Nov. 8 in Hamilton and Waterloo, Nov. 11 in Edmonton, Nov. 13 in Ottawa, and Nov. 14 in Toronto.
In the United States, the documentary will start streaming Nov. 19 on Hulu. The European debut will be at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam on Nov. 23. The doc has been sold to other foreign territories besides Hulu, including ARTE in France and Germany, Sky in the U.K., and HBO for Central Europe, on top of sales to Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, and even Iran.
The documentary is co-directed by Nancy Lang and Peter Raymont, who shadowed Atwood and her partner Graeme Gibson for twelve months. Sarah Polley, Adrienne Clarkson, Elisabeth Moss, and Volker Schlöndorf also appear, and Tatiana Maslany reads Atwood’s poetry and prose.
For more information on the documentary, see these articles in the Hollywood Reporter, National Post, Community Press, and Now Toronto. Follow our social media for more information on specific countries’ release dates as they become available.
In a ceremony today at Windsor Castle, the queen presented Margaret Atwood with a rare honor usually reserved for British citizens but occasionally bestowed upon those from the Commonwealths (she is only the third Canadian on the list).
Atwood becomes one of only 62 current holders of the Order of the Companions of Honour, which is awarded for extraordinary achievement in the arts, literature, science, and politics.
Margaret Atwood’s novel The Testaments, the long-awaited followup to 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale, has won the 2019 Booker Prize. The prize is split with British writer Bernardine Evaristo for her lively feminist work, an eclectic book the author calls “fusion fiction” called Girl, Woman, Other. Atwood and Evaristo will share the £50,000 prize.
Both are are gracious in sharing the prize:
“It would have been quite embarrassing for a person of my age and stage to have won the whole thing and thereby hinder a person in an earlier stage of their career from going through that door,” said Atwood.
Evaristo said, “I’m just so delighted to have won the prize. Yes, I am sharing it with an amazing writer. But I am not thinking about sharing it; I am thinking about the fact that I am here and that’s an incredible thing considering what the prize has meant to me and my literary life, and the fact that it felt so unattainable for decades.”
After a tie in 1992, Booker changed its rules to prevent another tie from occurring, but after deliberations went on for five hours, judges “essentially staged a sit-in in the judging room.” According to Chairman Peter Florence, “Our consensus was that it was our decision to flout the rules,” he said. “I think laws are inviolable and rules are adaptable to the circumstance.”
This is Atwood’s second Booker; she won in 2000 for The Blind Assassin. Evaristo is the first black woman to win the Booker. “I hope that honor doesn’t last too long,” she said in her acceptance speech.
A note about The Booker Prize:
The Booker is the most prestigious British literary award and comes with a handsome prize of £50,000. The prize was originally known as the Booker–McConnell Prize, when the Booker–McConnell company began sponsoring the prize in 1969. Later it became known as simply the Booker Prize. It was previously awarded to a full-length novel written in English by an author from the Commonwealth of Nations or Ireland, but now can be awarded to any English language novel published in the UK. As of June 1, 2019, the Booker Prize is now sponsored by the Crankstart Foundation, of California not the Man Group as it was for the past 18 years (when it was referred to as the Man Booker Prize), and is known again as simply the Booker Prize.
The Midwest Modern Language Association 61st annual convention will be held in Chicago November 14-17, 2019. The Margaret Atwood Society-sponsored panel will be Saturday the 16th at 1:00. The title is Duality & Doubles in the Novels of Margaret Atwood. The Treasurer of the Society, Denise Du Vernay, is chairing the panel, and Society President Karma Waltonen is presenting a paper on Alias Grace. Three other member presenters will be discussing The Handmaid’s Tale and the MaddAddam trilogy.
Registration and location information can be found here.