Margaret Atwood receives National Book Critics Circle lifetime achievement award

The acclaimed author is being honoured for her significant contribution to literary culture.
Over the past year, author Margaret Atwood has received several international awards. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Margaret Atwood is the 2016 recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Awarded semi-regularly since 1982, this honour recognizes those in the writing and publishing world who have made a significant contribution to book culture. Atwood has written everything from novels to comics to poetry to radio scripts and more, and has won many major literary awards, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award and the Booker Prize. She recently received the PEN Pinter Prize for political activism. Her notable novels include The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace (both of which are currently being adapted into television series), and Oryx and Crake. Her latest novel is Hag-Seed.

Past recipients include Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, the Library of America and the PEN American Center. Atwood is the first Canadian to receive this honour.

The National Book Critics Circle also announced that Yaa Gyasi has won the John Leonard Award for Homegoing. This award recognizes an outstanding first book in any genre.

The National Book Critics Circle has also released the finalists for their seven literary awards. Their fiction finalists are Swing Time by Zadie Smith, Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett, LaRose by Louise Erdrich and Moonglow by Michael Chabon. You can see the complete list of nominees in all categories here.

The winners were revealed, and Atwood and Gyasi were honoured, at a ceremony on March 16, 2017.


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