Feb 10, 2022 • 55M

Margaret Atwood on the non-role of writers

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Nigel Beale, The Biblio File
THE BIBLIO FILE is a leading podcast that examines "the book" and book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with writers, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners who busy themselves with the world of books. Feedback or suggestions? Please email notabenebeale@gmail.com
Episode details

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian novelist, essayist, poet, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor. She has written plenty of books, many of them prize-winners. For example, she's won "two Booker Prizes (latest in 2019, co-winner, for The Testaments), the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Governor General's Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, Princess of Asturias Awards, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards." Several of her works, including The Handmaid's Tale, have been adapted for the screen, big and small.

I think of her as a bird. In fact that's how I introduce her - as a cross between an osprey and a magpie. She's partial to phoenixes. We talk about her book Negotiating with the Dead (recently reissued as On Writers and Writing), and about the many reasons why writers write; about writer grants and Shakespeare; appealing to audiences; and geese, totalitarianism and not telling writers what to do; about Dante and bringing stories back from the past; about illuminating the darkness; spiders and witches, compromise, and interviewers hounding authors for interviews. Plus a fair amount more.