Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Ω
Margaret Atwood’s Twitter profile is simple; one word sits alone on the line reserved for the biography.
All lower case, no grammar, a simple term to describe one of the most famous, celebrated, discussed and dissected personalities in Canadian culture and the written word.
For what many see as the icon for Canadian literature it may seem simple, but it is likely as to be as exact as anyone will get to describing Atwood.
As part of the Common Voices Lecture Series, TRUSU is bringing the lady of letters to the Campus Activity Centre’s Grand Hall Friday, Feb. 15.
“It’s very exciting, I think it’s wonderful that’s she’s coming to Kamloops. Her schedule is so busy that I think that the student union was very fortunate to entice her here,” said Thomas Freidman, a TRU literature professor and member of the Margaret Atwood Society.
While Atwood made her first big impact in 1969 with the novel The Edible Woman. Before that she had poetry published, but her first novel, started while she was teaching at UBC in Vancouver, is what introduced her to greater acclaim.
Since then she has been a prolific writer, with many works held in high regard by the literary world, including The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), which is often a part of Canadian high school English curriculums, and The Blind Assassin (2000), a winner of the prestigious Booker Prize.
However, she is not only a celebrated author, but also a noted commentator on society.
“I think her reputation, and this is another dimension of her, is as a social critic. She has been one of the most insightful critics of society, politics, religion, science; I find that role is something she has grown into,” Freidman said. “She’s become an advocate for a number of very important social issues.”
Those issues include promoting the use of libraries, bird conservation and working with the organization PEN International, a global community of writers.
“She’s been a really strong advocate for freedom of speech, particularly for people who she feels whose voices have to be heard, like poets and creative writers,” Freidman said.
As of Feb. 6 there were still a small number of tickets left according to TRUSU.
Updated Feb. 9, 2013 at 10:54 p.m. by copy/web editor.