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Margaret Atwood Novelist poet short story writer critic teacher and feminist Margaret Eleanor Atwood was born on November 18 1939 Born in Ottawa Ontario Atwood was the second of three children to Carl Edmond and Margaret Dorothy Killam Atwood She went on to marry writer Graeme Gibson and give birth to a daughter named Jess Atwoods religion was that of Immanent Transcendentalist During her childhood she spent her summers in Northern Quebec while her father fulfilled aspirations of being a forest entomologist Her time spent in Northern Quebec during her youth was a significant influence on the novel Surfacing which was published in 1972 Upon coming out of what Atwood often refers to a her dark period which took place from ages eight to sixteen she began writing In high school her writing began to flourish and she began submitting her works to her high school newspaper As she continued to contribute poetry short stories and cartoons to her high schools paper Canadian literary critic and historian Northrop Frye 1912-1991 influenced her writing Frye also introduced her to the poetry of William Blake 1757-1827 which further influenced her writing Atwood received her Bachelors degree from University of Toronto her Masters from Radcliff College of Harvard University and went into graduate study at Harvard University After completing various studies Atwood went on to spend a considerable amount of time teaching and lecturing She taught English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver 1964-65 Victorian and American Literature at Sir George Williams in Montreal 1967-68 Creative Writing at the University of Alberta English at New York University in New York 1986 She worked as a writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto in Toronto 1972-73 the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa 1985 and Macquarie University in North Ryde Australia 1987 Atwood published her first volume of poetry Double Persephone in 1961 Her second volume of poetry The Circle Game won the 1967 Governor Generals Award Canadas
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