Margaret Atwood honored with Dayton Literary Peace Prize

CINCINNATI – Margaret Atwood, whose sweeping entire body of work involves “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a depiction of a nightmarish totalitarian upcoming for the United States, is this year’s winner of a lifetime achievement award that celebrates literature’s energy to foster peace, social justice and worldwide being familiar with.

The Canadian writer and teacher has attained the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, officers of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize officers declared Monday. The award is named for the late U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnian peace accords arrived at in the Ohio town.

Atwood — a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays, comedian textbooks and, as of late, tweets — in modern many years has drawn a new round of acclaim for her bestselling 1985 novel of a dystopian upcoming in which girls are subjugated immediately after an overthrow of the U.S. federal government.

Some readers of “The Handmaid’s Tale” noticed in the leaders of authoritarian Gilead similarities to the rise of Republican Donald Trump to president in the election of 2016. The tv adaptation on Hulu starring Elisabeth Moss generated however extra commentary, and girls dressed in pink cloaks and white bonnets, as the handmaids ended up depicted in the e book and Television set sequence, have revealed up at political demonstrations.

“You’re not there however, or else you would not be talking to me,” Atwood reported to a male Linked Press reporter, laughing about the cell phone. “You’d in all probability be in an isolation jail or a thing or dead. … How dare you speak to a female individual about the cell phone and produce about them?

“… And if I ended up a betting individual, which in a natural way I sort of am, I would guess on American orneriness and refusal to line up,” she added. “So I really do not consider you are likely to get people marching in lockstep easily. … You could get it, but it would be difficult.”

Atwood also thinks people are “alert to the dangers” of undermining the U.S. structure.

“That is what stands among you and an absolutist dictatorship,” she reported.

Sharon Rab, the founder and chairwoman of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, praised Atwood for preferred good results with producing that also educates people about pressing social justice and environmental issues.

“Margaret Atwood carries on to remind us that ‘It just can’t come about here’ simply cannot be depended on anything can come about anywhere provided the ideal situation, and ideal now, with scorn for democratic institutions on the rise, her lessons are extra very important than at any time,” Rab explained to The AP by e-mail.

Although not all textbooks are conducive to peace and being familiar with, Atwood reported, fiction can enable people “learn what it is to be a individual various from ourselves, so that may well result in you to have extra empathy with people who aren’t particularly like you.”

The Toronto resident’s longtime lover, novelist Graeme Gibson, died at age eighty five a yr in the past this thirty day period. Atwood, 80, reported she experimented with to keep herself busily distracted immediately after the decline, carrying out e book promotions and other vacation right until the pandemic grounded her in March. She has given that signed hundreds of inserts and bookplates to assist unbiased booksellers, and has provided talks via Zoom.

She considers herself “a realist, but on the optimistic facet, for the reason that if you are pessimistic, you really do not do anything. … I consider it’s people who are realistic but inclined to optimism who truly check out to improve course.”

Atwood released her initial e book of poetry, “Double Persephone,” in 1961, and her other textbooks have involved “Cat’s Eye” (1988), “Alias Grace” (1996), “The Blind Assassin” (2000), and “The MaddAddam Trilogy” (2003-2013). “The Testaments,” her 2019 sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” promptly joined her bestsellers.

The Dayton lifetime achievement award carries a $10,000 prize. Prior winners contain Studs Terkel, Taylor Branch, John Irving, Gloria Steinem and Elie Wiesel.

The awards accumulating initially prepared for Oct is remaining rescheduled for spring 2021 for the reason that of pandemic safety measures. Atwood will be joined by the 2020 winners of awards for fiction and nonfiction finalists for all those will be declared upcoming thirty day period.


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