Books

Margaret Atwood wins Chicago Public Library award for her contributions to literary culture

The Canadian author will receive the 2017 Carl Sandburg Literary Award for her body of work and contribution to literary culture.
Margaret Atwood is one of Canada's most decorated authors. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press)

Margaret Atwood and Dave Eggers are the recipients of the 2017 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards. Presented annually since 2000 by the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the award recognizes "an author whose significant body of work has enhanced the public's awareness of the written word."

Atwood is the second Canadian to receive the honour. Canadian-American dual citizen Sara Gruen was recognized in 2007. Other past winners include Kurt Vonnegut, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison.

One of Canada's most decorated authors, Atwood has won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award and the Man Booker Prize, among many other honours. In 2016, she received the PEN Pinter Prize for political activism, and was honoured with the National Book Critics Circle lifetime achievement award.

Atwood has written more than 60 books, ranging from poetry to novels to short stories and nonfiction. She recently released the graphic novel Angel Catbird with Johnnie Christmas. Some of her notable novels include The Handmaid's TaleAlias Grace and Oryx and Crake.

A television adaptation The Handmaid's Tale will air on Hulu and Bravo and in Canada beginning April 30. Director Sarah Polley's adaptation of Alias Grace will air on CBC and Netflix.

Dave Eggers' work includes the novel The Circle and the memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He is also the co-founder of 826 Valencia, a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to improving the writing skills of young people.

Journalist Natalie Y. Moore is the recipient of the 21st Century Award, which recognizes authors early in their career who have a significant connection to Chicago.

Atwood, Eggers and Moore will be honoured at a reception on Oct. 11.

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