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The cult of Margaret Atwood

The Story

When Margaret Atwood first began writing, she signed her books M.E. Atwood to hide the fact she was a woman writer. With the publication of her third novel, Lady Oracle, Atwood can't hide the fact that she has become one the most prominent and influential writers in Canada. The buzz surrounding the author has people talking about the "cult of Margaret Atwood." When asked about the phenomenon, Atwood tells CBC's Sheila Shotton that she finds it "intimidating." In Lady Oracle, Joan Foster is a writer of popular gothic novels who leaves her life and her manic-depressive husband by staging her own death. As in her previous novels, Atwood's male characters are criticized as weak, peripheral and two-dimensional. "Look around you," responds Atwood, "Men are awfully rigid." 

Medium: Radio
Program: Sunday Supplement
Broadcast Date: Oct. 3, 1976
Guest: Margaret Atwood
Host: De B. Holly
Interviewer: Sheila Shotton
Duration: 16:15

Did You know?

• Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle received the City of Toronto Book Award and the Canadian Booksellers award.

• In Atwood's first novel, The Edible Woman (1969), the author explored the theme of women's alienation. Through food and eating, Atwood's young heroine Marian McAlpin rebels against a modern, male-dominated world.

• In Surfacing (1972), Atwood's second novel, a young artist returns to the rural cabin where she spent her childhood after learning of her father's mysterious disappearance. As she searches for her father, she attempts to put the ghosts of her past to rest.


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