Margaret Atwood honored with Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Margaret Atwood’s sweeping frame of labor is being known with a life-time fulfillment award that celebrates literature’s energy to foster peace, justice and figuring out

CINCINNATI — Margaret Atwood, whose sweeping frame of labor contains “The Handmaid’s Story,” an outline of a nightmarish totalitarian long run for america, is that this yr’s winner of a life-time fulfillment award that celebrates literature’s energy to foster peace, social justice and international figuring out.

The Canadian author and trainer has earned the Richard C. Holbrooke Outstanding Fulfillment Award, officers of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize officers introduced Monday. The award is called for the overdue U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnian peace accords reached within the Ohio town.

Atwood — a prolific author of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays, comedian books and, nowadays, tweets — lately has drawn a brand new spherical of popularity of her bestselling 1985 novel of a dystopian long run during which girls are subjugated after an overthrow of the U.S. executive.

Some readers of “The Handmaid’s Story” noticed within the leaders of authoritarian Gilead similarities to the upward thrust of Republican Donald Trump to president within the election of 2016. The tv adaptation on Hulu starring Elisabeth Moss generated but extra remark, and ladies wearing pink cloaks and white bonnets, because the handmaids had been depicted within the ebook and TV collection, have proven up at political demonstrations.

“You might be now not there but, or else you wouldn’t be speaking to me,” Atwood stated to a male Related Press reporter, giggling over the telephone. “You’ll more than likely be in an isolation jail or one thing or useless. … How dare you communicate to a feminine individual over the telephone and write about them?

“… And if I had been a having a bet individual, which naturally I roughly am, I’d guess on American orneriness and refusal to line up,” she added. “So I don’t assume you’re going to get other folks marching in lockstep simply. … You’ll want to get it, however it could be laborious.”

Atwood additionally thinks persons are “alert to the risks” of undermining the U.S. charter.

“That’s what stands between you and an absolutist dictatorship,” she stated.

Sharon Rab, the founder and chairwoman of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Basis, praised Atwood for common good fortune with writing that still educates other folks about urgent social justice and environmental problems.

“Margaret Atwood continues to remind us that ‘It will probably’t occur right here’ can’t be depended upon; the rest can occur any place given the suitable cases, and at this time, with scorn for democratic establishments on the upward thrust, her courses are extra important than ever,” Rab informed The AP via e mail.

Whilst now not all books are conducive to peace and figuring out, Atwood stated, fiction can assist other folks “be informed what it’s to be an individual other from ourselves, in order that may reason you to have extra empathy with individuals who aren’t precisely such as you.”

The Toronto resident’s longtime spouse, novelist Graeme Gibson, died at age 85 a yr in the past this month. Atwood, 80, stated she attempted to stay herself busily distracted after the loss, doing ebook promotions and different go back and forth till the pandemic grounded her in March. She has since signed 1000’s of inserts and bookplates to give a boost to unbiased booksellers, and has given talks by means of Zoom.

She considers herself “a realist, however at the positive aspect, as a result of in case you’re pessimistic, you don’t do the rest. … I feel it’s people who find themselves real looking however prone in opposition to optimism who in reality attempt to trade route.”

Atwood revealed her first ebook of poetry, “Double Persephone,” in 1961, and her different books have integrated “Cat’s Eye” (1988), “Alias Grace” (1996), “The Blind Murderer” (2000), and “The MaddAddam Trilogy” (2003-2013). “The Testaments,” her 2019 sequel to “The Handmaid’s Story,” temporarily joined her bestsellers.

The Dayton lifetime fulfillment award carries a $10,000 prize. Earlier winners come with Studs Terkel, Taylor Department, John Irving, Gloria Steinem and Elie Wiesel.

The awards collecting at the beginning deliberate for October is being rescheduled for spring 2021 as a result of pandemic precautions. Atwood will likely be joined via the 2020 winners of awards for fiction and nonfiction; finalists for the ones will likely be introduced subsequent month.


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