Margaret Atwood Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Margaret Atwood

Birthday :

November 18, 1939

Also Known For :

Writer, Environmental Activist

Birth Place :

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Zodiac Sign :


Chinese Zodiac :


Birth Element :


Born on November 18, 1939, Margaret  Atwood is an astute Canadian novelist, poet, essayist and an environmental activist. Most of her works are based on myths and fairy tales and has published about fifteen poetry books. Margaret  Atwood has come out with several initiatives including the invention and development of the LongPen technology. In 2004, Margaret  Atwood co-founded Syngrafii Inc. which is into the development, production, and distribution of her LongPen technology.

Margaret  Atwood has been honored in several forms for her works and initiatives including her induction into the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2001, Governor General Award and Prince of Asturias Award in Literature among several others. She has also contributed as a founding trustee of the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Early Life And Education

Margaret  Atwood was born on November 18, 1939, in Ottawa Ontario, Canada to Margaret Dorothy and Carl Edmund Atwood. She is the second child of three siblings. Atwood’s father was an entomologist and the mother a former dietician and nutritionist. Margaret  Atwood had interruptions in her education because of the nature of her father’s job. The family had to move frequently from one place to another. However, she loved to read literature, comic books, animal stories and Grimm’s Fairy Tales among others. Through her readings, Margaret  Atwood gained much interest in writing poems and plays at a very young age.

Margaret  Atwood attended and graduated from the Leaside High School in Leaside, Toronto in 1957. After high school, Margaret  Atwood enrolled at the Victoria College at the University of Toronto. There, Margaret  Atwood developed her writing skills and wrote poems and articles in the college literary journal, Acta Victoriana. 

Four years later, Margaret  Atwood graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with honors as well as a minor in philosophy and French. In 1961 Margaret  Atwood pursued and received master’s degree (MA) at Harvard’s Radcliffe College in 1962 and later a doctorate at the Harvard University but did not complete her dissertation.


Teaching Career

Margaret  Atwood after her education taught in school like the University of British Columbia in 1665 and from 1967 to 1968 also taught at the Sir George Williams University in Montreal. Margaret  Atwood also taught at University of Alberta from 1969 to 1970, from 1970 to 1972 at the York University in Toronto and also served as visiting M.F.A Chair at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1985. Atwood last teaching job was at the New York University where Margaret  Atwood served as a Berg Professor of English.



Margaret  Atwood has done lots of writing being it novels, poems, fictions and several others. Some of her works are based on feminism through emphasizing how patriarchal ideology puts women into oppression. With this poster, Margaret  Atwood is often termed as feminist even though vehemently denies that saying feminist writers are those who work within the framework of the feminist movement. One of such books it The Edible Woman published in 1969 which take a feminine posture.

She has since 1961 written novels, poems and short stories including, Double Persephone, 1961, The Circle Game, 1964, Expedition, 1965, The Animal in that Country, 1968, Surfacing, 1972, Lady Oracle, 1972, Cat’s Eye, Procedures for Underground, 1970, Power Politics, 1971, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Cake, The Year of the Flood, The Heart Goes Lost, 2015 and Hoq-Seed in 2016. She also has audio recordings of, The Poetry and Voice of Margaret Atwood (1977), Margaret Atwood Reads “Unearthing Suite” (1985), Margaret Atwood Reading From Her Poems (2005).


Invention Of The LongPen

Margaret  Atwood came by the idea of being able to write anywhere through a robotic writing technology which she later teamsLongPen in 2004 during a tour in for the paperback of her novel Oryx and Crake in Denver. With this concept, one can write remotely in ink anywhere in the world using a tablet PC and the internet. The idea would also help her perform her book tour without physically being present. To develop, produce and distribute the LongPen idea, Margaret  Atwood co-founded the company Unotchit Inc. The company would later metamorphose to become Syngrafiidelved into other areas of business and legal transactions as well as producing a wide range of LonPen technology based remote writing applications. Atwood held numerous patents of the LongPen technology and served as a Director of Syngrafii.


Personal Life

Margaret  Atwood married Jim Polk in 1968 but they couple divorced in 1973. Margaret  Atwood later had an intimated relationship with a novelist, Graeme Gibson and had a daughter Eleanor Jess Atwood Gibson in 1973. The family lived on a farm near Alliston Ontario but later moved to Toronto in 1980. Margaret  Atwood loves animals and is against the killing of them for food. She has through the novels like In Surfing expressed such views.



Margaret  Atwood has won several awards and honor for her works. Margaret  Atwood has been awarded honorary degrees from institutions like Oxford University, the Universite de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Cambridge University, Tent University, Concordia University, University of Toronto, Harvard University and Algoma University among others. She received the Governor General’s Award, 1966, Companion of the Order of Canada, 1981, Guggenheim fellowship, 1981.

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