I first started reading novels by Margaret Atwood when they appeared on my “recommended reading” lists, way back in high school. Having won a slew of awards, Atwood is one of Canada’s best-known writers. Indeed, her writing has earned her recognition from around the world (although that’s a fact I only recently came to realize).
Interestingly enough, one of my ESL students asked me if I was planning to hear Atwood speak when she comes to Calgary. I told him that I didn’t realize she was so popular outside of Canada, to which he replied, “Oh, yes. She’s very famous, you know!”
In the course of our conversation, I found out that The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my student’s favourite novels – definitely something I wouldn’t have predicted about a young, Iranian computer programmer. Talk about a lesson in not judging books by their covers!
Literature has the amazing ability to unite people from varied backgrounds. Individuals who have read the same book are individuals who share an intangible, (though certainly not identical!) experience. Immediately after my student told me about reading Atwood’s books, I felt as if I knew him better. I felt like the ocean that separates his land from mine had suddenly shrunken, and so had our cultural divide.
On September 29th, make your way to Knox United Church for an evening with the legendary Margaret Atwood. Tickets will be sold through the WordFest box office at 403.237.9068 for $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Copies of The Year of the Flood will be available for sale courtesy of Pages Books on Kensington, and Margaret Atwood will be available to sign after the reading.
For more information, see the following:
Atwood at the University of Calgary
Atwood at Knox United Church
Year of the Flood tour dates and locations