Margaret Atwood becomes 1st author to add secret story to Future Library

Celebrated Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, has become the first writer to add a story to a literary time capsule called the Future Library

'My mouth is zipped tight,' said the celebrated Canadian author when asked about work's plot

Margaret Atwood on her Future Library contribution

7 years ago
Duration 8:48
CBC's Heather Hiscox tries to get the celebrated Canadian author to spill the beans on her unseen manuscript

Celebrated Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, has become the first writer to add a story to the Future Library.

The art initiative is a literary time capsule, with a plan for 100 authors to submit 100 original works over the next 100 years. The material will remain unpublished and unread until 2114, held in trust in a special room of the new Deichman Library in Oslo.

The award-winning author of MaddAddam and The Handmaid's Tale, was in Oslo, Norway on Tuesday to deliver her manuscript to the vault.

The occasion was streamed on Twitter's live-streaming app Periscope.

The 75-year-old, Ottawa-born writer also visited the Future Library forest in nearby Nordmarka, where 1,000 new trees were planted last year to provide the paper on which the written works will be printed.

The award-winning writer's story will not be seen by the public in her lifetime.

Secret plot

"My mouth is zipped tight," Atwood told CBC News. "I might be writing about ancient Rome, you just don't know."

Keeping quiet on the details is key to the project's success. "Everyone is trying to get this out of me in every possible way, but no dice."

The idea was conceived by Scottish artist Katie Paterson, who, along with top publishers and editors, will choose one renowned writer to contribute a new story each year.

To mark her inaugural contribution, tech-savvy Atwood uploaded a short essay on the topic to Wattpad, an app that allows people to read and share stories.

She also launched a writing contest called Dear 2114, challenging fans to come up with a story on the theme of the future. Winners will be announced in June.


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