Tell us how you discovered Margaret Atwood?


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Tell us how you discovered Margaret Atwood?

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nov 16, 2006, 5:25 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

nov 17, 2006, 11:09 am

I'm Canadian, and Atwood was required reading in high school English classes. (Especially because I went to the same high school she did!) I think the first one I read was The Edible Woman, and some of her poetry. I went on to collect many more of her novels.

I enjoy her stories about women more than her dystopia fiction. I particularly liked The Robber bride and Cat's eye and The Blind assassin, but I don't enjoy Oryx and Crake much.

nov 20, 2006, 3:37 pm

My first Atwood book was The Handmaid's Tale which was required reading in high school. I loved the "voice" and went on to read everything by MA I could get my hands on. I have to admit, it took several tries before I got into Oryx and Crake, but once I did I started seeing it as a movie!

dec 1, 2006, 1:13 am

I was born in Canada, grew up here too, and can't even remember a time when I hadn't heard of Margaret Atwood. It's a bit like being asked how I discovered snow!

dec 1, 2006, 2:09 am

I'm probably older than most of you here. I first heard about Margaret Atwood when she was at the University of British Columbia in the mid sixties. She was active in promoting Canadian writing and publishing even then. I read her first novel The Edible woman from the library shortly after it was published. I heard Atwood being interviewed about the book on CBC morning radio. I was fairly newly married and at home with a young baby at that time, so the theme of the novel was just right.

dec 1, 2006, 4:33 am

I'm not certain which first came to my awareness, the film or the book, but I'm pretty sure it was Handmaid's Tale, somewhere back in '91.

dec 6, 2006, 8:11 am

Hi, I'm new :)

Mine was also The Handmaid's Tale. I was looking for something to read for a Higher English assignment in 5th year, and my lovely English teacher Mr Feeney recommended Atwood's work to me. He even loaned me his own copy of the book. I'm eternally grateful to him because I don't think I'd have started exploring other literature if it hadn't been for taking a chance on an unknown author.

8CarolineWalters Första inlägget
feb 7, 2007, 10:06 am


I'm also new here. My first one was The Handmaid's Tale. It was my tutor's attempt to make me read contemporary fiction because at the time I considered anything written past 1920 as too modern. It started a lifelong addiction that is now turning into an academic one.

mar 10, 2007, 5:27 pm

The first book was "The Handmaid's Tale'' when it first came out. Then soon after, Margaret Atwood came to Wellington, New Zealand and with hundreds of other women I crowded into the concert chamber at the town hall. I always remember those tiers and tiers of mostly women, united in their interest of one writer and her books. It was my first book 'event' of many. Ms Atwood hooked me on the need occasionally to hear writers speak their words out loud and in person.

mar 14, 2007, 9:09 am

I first read Alias Grace which I loved, but cannot remember how I discovered it. I read The Blind Assassin when it came out and have recently purchased Cat's Eye. Apparently some of her books are sci-fi so I won't be reading those.

mar 14, 2007, 10:00 am

Amanda, the only Atwood novels considered dystopian (sometimes considered SF because they are set in the future) are Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, although there is the fantasy story at the center of the story within a story narrative in The Blind Assassin. Her use of a dystopian future as setting, imo, plays out the "what if" question and can perhaps be interpreted as a warning of sorts. Certainly, this is the way I read Handmaid's Tale.

mar 15, 2007, 8:21 am

Thanks avaland. I'll be brave and try one.

mar 23, 2007, 6:53 pm

Margaret Atwood's Survival was required reading when I was in high school. A terrible introduction to Atwood's work, as Survival is pedantic and badly researched, something Atwood herself seems to acknowledge. My understanding is that Survival>/i> was written largely to bolster Anansi's catalogue in its early days.

Despite this, I have enjoyed many of Atwood's other works. I think I read Dancing Girls next, and after that read everything. As with others who have posted here, my favourite is The Robber Bride. Biting, truthful satire. Although much of it is not to my personal taste, Atwood's poetry is (was?) truly exceptional.

mar 26, 2007, 9:55 am




apr 7, 2007, 12:11 pm

The Handmaid's Tale was required reading in women's literature in highschool. I loved the book so much that i never returned it :). It is still one of my favorite books and I always suggested to friends. I even got a friend to read Oryx and Crake recently. She loved it so I think we've got another fan!!

apr 15, 2007, 1:53 pm

I had forgotten to cancel a Book-of-the-Month club order, and received 2 hardcover books (a wild luxury for a working-her-way-through-college student!): Saul Bellow's More Die of Heartbreak (hated it), and Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye: been hooked ever since. Not crazy about some of her earlier fiction (Lady Oracle, Surfacing), but the rest: wow. Still think she should have won the Booker Prize for Alias Grace: I found it much more polished than The Blind Assassin. And like alharris, The Robber Bride is my favorite.

maj 14, 2007, 10:18 am

I read Oryx and Crake for a book group read. I've never been drawn to dystopian literature and so this was a stretch for me - but I loved how Atwood wove the story and pulled me into caring about her characters. I realized I was reading a brilliant writer whose skill exceeded genre...and now I'd like to eventually read all her novels.

18vagrants Första inlägget
maj 22, 2007, 12:30 am

I, like the majority of people here, were forced to read Atwood in school. I didn't expect to latch onto the story in The Handmaid's Tale like I did. I'm more of a King fan and did not expect to actually like such an influential and celebrated author like Margaret Atwood.

Silly me... and I've been hooked ever since. I've also found collecting her books to be both challenging and rewarding. I have first editions of both Life Before Man and The Robber Bride.

I'm always on the look out for more as well ;)

maj 23, 2007, 6:47 pm

>18 vagrants: I just found a US 1st of Alias Grace at a library sale over the weekend. It was signed, "To Barbara: Best Wishes, Margaret Atwood." What a prize! I've decided to throw some plastic over the dust jacket and give it to a book buddy whose name is Barbara.

I'm afraid I've hoarded hardcover copies of The Handmaid's Tale...I think I have four now (I can't help buying them when I see them...).

maj 23, 2007, 7:40 pm

WOW, Avaland! What a great find!!!

jun 5, 2007, 3:35 pm

Hi, I am new to the group. I live in Sweden. I first encounterad Maragaret Atwood´s work when I studied English at university in the eighties. The first book I read was The edible woman and I truly loved it. I wrote a required essay on it for the course. Then I read The handmaid's tale in Swedish, which I also liked. I was heavily into SF at that time and it suited my tastes. I tried Surfacing, but could not get through it. Then I read Oracle, which I really liked and after that Cat's eye, which I consider to be one of the best books I have ever read. I enjoy her work immensely, but have not read all of it. She is one of the great writers of our time.

jun 12, 2007, 12:18 am

I discovered Margaret Atwood by chance. We were required to write a paper in a college Lit class and the first book I chose was not approved by my professor because it wasn't considered literature. I can't even remember the book, but I found Lady Oracle in the library and thought it looked interesting. And I fell in love!!!

Since then, I've been collecting Atwood's books, and I went on to write a paper for a masteral Lit class on The Handmaid's Tale -- and making a good grade too! =)

Redigerat: jan 17, 2008, 5:29 pm

I started out by reading Cat's Eye, which was a required read for the summer at our high school -- but I was the English teacher! At that time (90's, in the US), we were still trying to get more women writers into the curriculum. I liked the book a lot, but wasn't sure it was right for teens, and did not approve of assigning summer reading (I knew how few opportunities we students and teachers had to choose what we wanted to read!) I also felt sometimes that the detail was excessive, when I couldn't see that it was detail that built plot, or character, or atmosphere, or anything.

Many years passed, and I tried The Handmaid's Tale, but gave it up -- so distressing, scary even. Some more years, and I read Oryx and Crake. I really liked it. Then Alias Grace. Marvelous! Now The Blind Assassin. Amazing! I love this writer! Why did it take me so long to realize it? I am starting over at the beginning! I am reading it all! Perhaps this is finally my Atwood time.

jan 18, 2008, 12:57 pm

I'm Canadian too, and feel like I've always known the name Margaret Atwood. I'm too old, however, to have had to read her in high school.

For some reason her books never made my to-read list until my book club read Oryx and Crake. I liked it right from the first page, and haven't looked back. Eventually I would like to read all her books.

jan 28, 2008, 9:10 pm

My mother (wonderful woman) gave me The Handmaid's Tale for Christmas when I was 20. It was a funny choice as she can't read Atwood herself - finds her work really disturbing - but maybe she reckoned I was made of sterner stuff.
The HT sat on my bookshelf for a year before I actually picked it up (for some reason I just didn't like the look of it) and I then literally couldn't put it down, and sat up until 7am reading it with my boyfriend occasionally pinching me and muttering "put the ****ing light out!".
Since then I've read every one of her novels. What I like about her work is that it is so complex and there are so many layers of understanding that you can go back and re-read them a few months later and always hit on something new you didn't notice the first time round - eases the pain of waiting for a new one to come out!

jan 28, 2008, 9:52 pm

I was taking a feminism class last semester & one of the books that was analyzed in an essay was The Handmaid's Tale. After reading the analysis & my prof's recommendation, I bought it & fell in love. I am not reading The Blind Assassin, which is amazing & absolutely cannot wait to read more.

apr 12, 2008, 10:13 pm

I had heard of her in high school and college but the first book of hers I read, The Handmaid's Tale, was for Banned Book Week in 2003. I was a little traumatized after that but recovered enough to delve into many of her other amazing novels.

apr 17, 2008, 1:35 pm

I didn't find out about Margaret Atwood until after I'd seen the movie version of Handmaid's Tale. I decided to read the book after that-I was about 18. I wish I'd had to the option to read her in highschool, if for no other reason than to have the extra time with her, but apparently, she's just a little too racy for some Texas highschools. I loved the book (still do), but didn't really fall in love with her writing until I'd read three or four more novels. Alias Grace cemented her in my mind as my favorite author.

apr 19, 2008, 4:49 pm

I am new to this group, enticed to join with avaland's invite to read The Handmaid's Tale in May. I first heard of Atwood in college where I was assigned The Handmaid's Tale - though I didn't actually read it. I read my first Atwood book, The Blind Assassin, followed by Penelopiad, last fall and enjoyed both books.

I have The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace on my bookshelves, waiting to be read.

Looking forward to reading more Atwood!

apr 19, 2008, 7:23 pm

When I started working at the library, the check-out desk faced the first row of adult fiction. Everyday I stared at the A authors & the title "The Edible Woman" kept catching my eye. Finally I decided to check it out. i read it, enjoyed it & Margaret Atwood has been on my list of "Read everything" authors ever since.

Redigerat: apr 27, 2008, 10:37 am

I read Lady Oracle in the 70s when I was living in NYC and was in bed with a fever -- I think the feverish state may have had something to do with my initial reaction, but I was hooked. Not so fond of Edible Woman, but Cat's Eye bowled me over with its depiction of the cruelty of teen-age girls, and I've read everything she's published since with the exception of Oryx and Crake, which I somehow missed. I've taught both Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace in my Contemporary Lit course.

apr 27, 2008, 1:12 pm

I listened to The Blind Assasin on audiobook several years ago, and I was SO impressed with the plot and her style of writing. I t is up there with my all-time favorites. I think Oryx and Crake was a little confusing and a disappointment because I was expectins something similar to Assasin, but Ithink I will try it again.Also, I read The Handmaid's Tale so long ago, I want to re-read that. Nothing had the effect of Assasin on me, though, as far as enjoyment. Mary Beth