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If you’re coming to the MLA convention this week in Chicago, be sure to attend our panel on Friday on Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy. Directly after the panel, the Margaret Atwood Society will hold its annual business meeting. Come to the panel for information. Current and prospective members are welcome to attend!
Dr. Karma Waltnonen, Atwood scholar and former MAS president, will be presiding over the panel.
From The Atlantic:
Man Booker Prize winners Margaret Atwood and Howard Jacobsen have bravely committed themselves to writing contemporary versions of Shakespeare’s plays in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. Jacobsen will rework The Merchant of Venice and Atwood will take on The Taming of the Shrew as part of project put together by Penguin Random House’s Hogarth imprint.
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).
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.”
Margaret Atwood has been the leader in her field and her art for decades, and now she’s ushering in new writing and publishing technologies. Atwood has embraced social media (and even defended the Internet by saying it encouraged literacy) by connecting with readers and spreading the word about issues important to her and her fans, such as possible library cuts in Toronto, via Twitter. Atwood is now working with Wattpad, an online writing community and has co-founded Fanado, a service that provides a “distinct combination of face-to-face online meetings with legally verifiable signatures.”
Writing for the Guardian, Atwood responds to naysayers and those who simply wonder why she doesn’t just relax a bit:
Maybe my dates with Wattpad are a bit undignified. But at my age you can afford to be undignified. You’re free to explore, and to guinea-pig yourself, and to stretch the boundaries.
Artist Jane Eccles’s new exhibit opens February 26 and runs until April 10 at the Whitby Station Gallery in Whitby, Ontario. Eccles’s exhibit is called “Overlap,” and includes a painting of a dress donated by Margaret Atwood, painted by Eccles. For more information, see the Station Gallery’s website.
Margaret Atwood will soon publish her seventh children’s book, Wandering Wenda and Widow Wallop’s Wunderground Washery.