Margaret Atwood (1939-)
Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939 ans spent her early years in Northern Quebec, where her father worked as an entomologist. She seemed to be destined for a scientific career like him, but she chose to study History of Art with Northrop Frye at Victorian College at the University of Toronto, where she took her B. A. in 1961.
In 1962 she took a master's degree from Radcliffe College at Harvard University. She taught English at several Canadian universities and was writer -in-residence in Canada, Australia and the United States. She began writing collections of poems based on two main themes: the identity of Canadian culture and the condition of women.
Noted for her feminist ideas, Atwood has earned numerous honorary degrees and her work has been published in more than thirty languages. The author of books of fiction, books for children, poetry and critical essays, Atwood is best known for her novels, such as The Blind Assassin (2000), a complex multilateral work which won the Booker Prize in 2000 and was named "Time" magazine's Book of the Year.
Although Atwood's use of language is quite clever, what makes this novel remarkable is its skillful structure. The work is actually like a Chinese box or a matrushka, one of the Russian dolls which fit within another, so that when you open the first you find another smaller doll inside, and in turn an even smaller one. The novel is, in fact, the result of the intersection of a story within a story within a story.