atwood-margaret-2005-credit-jallen.jpgMargaret Atwood, the author of the Canadian novel A Handmaiden’s Tale, is an acclaimed novelist, literary critic, essayist, and poet. She is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Booker Prize, and Prince of Asturias award for Literature; she has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award seven times and has won twice. Atwood was born on November, 18, 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and is currently 71 years old. She is the second of three children to Margaret Dorothy, a dietitian and nutritionist, and Carl Edmund Atwood, an entomologist. Atwood did not attend school full-time until she was eleven when she became an avid reader of literature. She first began writing at the age of six and began studying literature at the age of sixteen. In 1968, Atwood married Jim Polk and they were divorced in 1973. Atwood studied at Victoria College in the University of Toronto and Harvard University. She has taught at the University of British Columbia, Sir George Williams University in Montreal, the University of Alberta, York University in Toronto, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and New York University.
The Handmaiden’s tale received the very first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987, which was given for science fiction. Atwood was at first offended that A Handmaiden’s Tale was being considered a science fiction novel. She suggested that her novel was a speculative fiction since they could really occur.