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Atwood’s The Testaments included in Booker longlist, is in the running for the Booker Prize

Margaret Atwood won the Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin and is in the running again for the prize for her upcoming novel The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, which will be released on September 10. Atwood has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, first for The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986, when she lost out to Kingsley Amis, and most recently in 2003 for Oryx and Crake.

The Guardian reports that 13 finalists were chosen among 131 novels for the longlist. Previous winner Salman Rushdie is also on the longlist (Rushdie won in 1981 for Midnight’s Children). Among the other eleven are the American-born Lucy Ellmann (who moved to England as a teenager), English writer Jeanette Winterson, Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma, and Irish author Kevin Barry.

According to the New York Times, “a ferocious nondisclosure agreement” prevented the prize’s judges from revealing any of the plot of The Testaments, but they did say it is “terrifying and exhilarating.”

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 is awarded to a full-length novel written in English by an author from the Commonwealth of Nations or Ireland. As of June 1, 2019, the Booker Prize is now sponsored by the Crankstart Foundation, of California, curiously, 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.

VH1 Trailblazer Honors to fete Margaret Atwood

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day?
VH1 Trailblazer Honors 2019 will honor Margaret Atwood, along with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay. *

The special will air on both VH1 and Logo on March 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

*Ava DuVernay is no relation to Atwood Society officer Denise Du Vernay.

Atwood honored by Equality Now

At Equality Now’s fourth annual Make Equality Reality gala on December 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, Margaret Atwood was honored for “her longtime advocacy of women’s rights.”

Variety reports that, in her speech at the gala, Atwood said, “Enforced pregnancy is a form of slavery. It is time it’s recognized as such.” A while discussing the importance of hope, THR quotes Atwood remarking: “It’s not enough just to hope. You actually then have to do something other than hoping.”

Equality Now and supporters seek to challenge and defeat repressive laws regarding women’s rights, including sex trafficking, sexual violence, and ritual genital mutilation through an international network of activists.