資料彙整   /   作家  /  Margaret  Atwood  瑪格莉特.愛特伍德
Margaret  Atwood
瑪格莉特.愛特伍德
圖片來源:Image from Maclean's Sept. 23, 1996
主要文類:Novel
資料提供者:Kate Liu/劉紀雯
關鍵字詞:World Literature in English Contemporary North American Women's Fictions Postmodern Fiction Canadian Literature

Margaret Eleanor Atwood
1939-

 Early Life

 Her Works

 

  Early Life


Margaret Atwood was born on November 18th, 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario. She was born to the Atwood family as the second child to Carl Edmund Atwood, a forest entomologist and Margaret Dorothy Killam who has a master degree of Home Economics from University of Toronto. After the years of Carl Atwood's research in northern Quebec and Ontario, the Atwood family settles in Toronto where the father took the teaching position in University of Toronto.

Atwood's talent in writing started to attract attention when she was still a student in Leaside High School where she conttributed prose and verse to school literary magazine. Influenced by her father's work, Atwood was fascinated by the nature and hence had been sharpening her keen sense of observation that made her well-equipped to her writing career later in her life.

As an honors English student at Victoria College in UT, she won the E.J. Pratt medal with her poem "Double Persephone" and later the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. During her graduate studies in English at Radcliffe College in Harvard University, she studied Victorian literature under the prestigious professor Jerome Buckley, and there she gained her M.A. When she later continued to work for her doctoral studies, she began to write novels, two of which are Up in the Air So Blue and The Edible Woman: the former is as yet published till today whereas the latter was published in 1969 in which Atwood used her working experience in a market-research company as a background of the protagonist.

Though she has finished all of the required credits for her doctoral degree, she began her professional writing career and started to teach in universities without having her dissertation completed. She continued her writing of prose, poems and novels, and by the time she married James Polk when she was twenty-eight years old, she aroused the public attention with her award-winning poetry The Circle Game. After The Edible Woman was published, Atwood began to travel in Europe. When she returned from Europe, and soon after her teaching at York University in Toronto, she separated with her American novelist husband James Polk and moved to Alliston Ontario with Graeme Gibson.

In 1976, Atwood's daughter Jess was born. Besides her previous attempt of contributing a comic strip under the pseudonym Bart Gerrard, Atwood began to write for children as well. In the early eighties, she spent several years traveling and working in Europe, mostly in Germany and England. Her Europe trip has probably helped her a lot in her writing so that she spent some time in France in the early nineties and publish Good Bones, The Robber Bride around that time. Atwood spent most of her time in Toronto after her trip to France and her teaching in the States. She is now living in Toronto with Gibson and Jess.

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 Her works

Throughout her early works, Atwood created numerous heroines that state her concerns about women's issues of her time in the 60s and 70s; issues such as eating disorder, women's awakening, advancement of female rights, Ecofeminism have all appeared in her characterization. In her later novels, she not merely continues her discussion and exploration in these issues but further expands her literary tentacles toward political level. Several of her later long-length novels, such as The Blind Assassin (2000) and Oryx and Crake (2004) appear with complicated characterization, entangled with sophisticated observation toward nowadays feminists concerns and political environment in our contemporary time.

Atwood writes with exquisite techniques that derive from, according to herself, her childhood experience of observation on insects and plants, and her interest in botany. Literary critics observes some techniques that she is in favor of using in her novels, such as the use of double, duality, mirroring, satirical writing, fairy-tale revisions, rewriting and representation, and so on. She uses these writing techniques to elaborate further her critiques on specific societal or political situation of our time and create a mocking voice that warns her readers the effects and stakes that come along with the cause human being has created.

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