Margaret Atwood

Literary Birthday – 18 November – Margaret Atwood

Happy Birthday, Margaret Atwood, born 18 November 1939.

Margaret Atwood Quotes

  1. A word after a word after a word is power.
  2. I never have [suffered writer’s block], although I’ve had books that didn’t work out. I had to stop writing them. I just abandoned them. It was depressing, but it wasn’t the end of the world. When it really isn’t working, and you’ve been bashing yourself against the wall, it’s kind of a relief. I mean, sometimes you bash yourself against the wall and you get through it. But sometimes the wall is just a wall. There’s nothing to be done but go somewhere else.
  3. I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.
  4. If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions—you’d be doomed. You’d be ruined as God. You’d be a stone. You’d never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You’d never love anyone, ever again. You’d never dare to.
  5. War is what happens when language fails.
  6. Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.
  7. But people will do anything rather than admit that their lives have no meaning. No use, that is. No plot.
  8. When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.
  9. Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.

Suggested reading: Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction. She is best known for her novels, which include The Edible WomanThe Handmaid’s TaleThe Robber BrideAlias Grace, and The Blind Assassin,  which won the Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood’s work has been published in more than 40 languages. Visit her website: Margaret Atwood.

Source for image

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 18th November 2012