Tag: margaret atwood

Atwood and Evaristo Both Win Booker Prize

The Booker Prize judges “explicitly flouted” the rules of the prize, choosing two winners for the first time in more than 25 years. Margaret Atwood and Bernadine Evaristo. At 79 years old, Atwood is the oldest writer to ever receive the prize. Even more exciting, Bernadine Evaristo is the first black woman to win the Booker Prize since it began in 1969.

 

 

After five hours with the prize’s jury, the judges emerged to announce they had been unable to select just one winner. Even knowing that the prize’s director, Gary Wood, would not allow them to split up the $50,000 prize, the judges chose Atwood The Testaments and Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other as joint winners.

 

Images via Amazon

 

The prize has been split twice before – between Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton in 1974, and between Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth in 1992 – but the rules were changed after 1992 to stipulate that the prize “may not be divided or withheld.”

Peter Florence, the chair of the judges, commented that the choice to split the prize was difficult but, in the judges’ opinion, necessary:

 

Our consensus was that it was our decision to flout the rules and divide this year’s prize to celebrate two winners…These are two books we started not wanting to give up and the more we talked about them the more we treasured both of them and wanted them both as winners … We couldn’t separate them.

 

 

After the ceremony at London’s Guildhall, Margaret Atwood said:

 

It would have been quite embarrassing for a person of my age and stage to have won the whole thing and thereby hinder a person in an earlier stage of their career from going through that door. I really would have been embarrassed, trust me on that…I’m not the jury. I have been on a jury that split the prize and I understand the predicament. I get it … they should have split it 13 ways but unfortunately that’s not how it goes.

 

Evaristo also commented on her historic win:

 

I’m just so delighted to have won the prize. Yes, I am sharing it with an amazing writer. But I am not thinking about sharing it, I am thinking about the fact that I am here and that’s an incredible thing considering what the prize has meant to me and my literary life, and the fact that it felt so unattainable for decades.

 

 

Atwood confirmed she would donate her $25,000 share of the prize to the Canadian Indigenous charity Indspire, which she has previously helped with her late friend and First Nations leader Chief Harry St Denis.

Commenting again on the unorthodox choice to have two winners, Florence said:

 

Nobody was taking this lightly but equally there was a sense of perspective – we are judging a book prize, and this is a celebration of great literature. There are opportunities to be joyful here.

 

 

Featured image via Getty Images

Beloved Author Graeme Gibson Passes At 85

Canadian author and conservationist Graeme Gibson passed away on Wednesday, September 18th at the age of 85 due to dementia. The announcement was made by Gibson’s publisher, Penguin Random House Canada.

 

Image Via Georgia Straight

 

Gibson is known for writing experimental fiction novels such as Five Legs and Communion, both centering around the character Felix Oswald and his dark, twisted coming-of-age adventures. An avid bird watcher, Gibson also wrote collections based on his bird watching, his most well-known being The Bedside Book of Birds.

 

 

Gibson was the longtime partner of Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale and the recently released The Testaments. Even though he was suffering from dementia, he still joined Atwood on her book promotion tour.

In an interview with Time magazine, Atwood said that she wrote The Testaments while caring for Gibson.

 

Image Via Glob Intel

 

Are you sad to hear about Gibson’s death?

 

 

Featured Image Via CBC

 

 

Praise Be! ‘The Testaments’ Is Coming To Television

 

 

Releasing today, Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments continues the story of The Handmaid’s Tale with new characters exploring the world of Gilead for a new generation of readers. With rave reviews and a huge following thanks to the successful series on Hulu, the hype surrounding this new novel has reached new heights. For those fans who are anxious for an eventual adaptation, you don’t have to wait any longer.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Hulu has confirmed that a series based on The Testaments is in the works, just as the series starts to prepare for it’s upcoming fourth season.

In addition to the new series, the showrunner of Handmaid’s has stated that the show will incorporate elements of The Testaments into the current show.

 

 

MGM, the production company for The Handmaid’s Tale, is more than ready to bring Atwood’s newest story to life:

 

“Margaret Atwood is a literary icon who continues to delight and challenge readers through her provocative and compelling prose. She has been an incredible creative partner and resource to MGM throughout the production of Handmaid’s and we look forward to working with her on the story’s exciting next chapter.”

 

Are you excited for an adaptation of The Testaments?

 

 

Featured Image Via Penguin Books

Amazon Sends Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments’ Early by Mistake

Amazon preorders of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments have been shipped out to readers ahead of schedule. By mistake.

A handful of reviews appeared on NPRThe Washington Post, and The New York Times yesterday even though there was supposed to be a strict embargo on the novel before its September 10th release date. And some readers are rushing to Twitter and Instagram to show off the copies they’ve received early.

 

 

 

According to BBC, Penguin Random House claims:

In the US a very small number of copies of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments were distributed early due to a retailer error which has now been rectified.

We appreciate that readers have been waiting patiently, in some cases for more than thirty years, for the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling The Handmaid’s Tale. In order to ensure our readers around the world receive their copies on the same day, our global publication date remains Tuesday 10th September.

The small number of copies received by these lucky readers total around eight-hundred.

Though some Atwood fans may be celebrating that they could get their hands on The Testaments early, many independent booksellers are frustrated that Amazon seems to have ignored the embargo. The fact that readers have received copies ahead of schedule from Amazon can drastically impact an independent bookstore’s bottom line, especially when they rely on the rush of first-day sales to drive their business.

 

 

Lexi Beach, one such bookseller whose “world is crumbling around [her] right now,” took to Twitter to vent about Amazon’s brazen disregard  of the embargo.

 

 

Unfortunately, Beach is kind of right. Amazon’s business model is much different from your average independent bookseller’s. The online-shopping behemoth can afford to take a lot of losses on titles like The Testaments in a strategy to grow their customer base. Independent stores, on the other hand, often rely on the buzz huge titles like Atwood’s generate to drive business to their stores. And given that Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale has been shortlisted for The Booker Prize and is already on many best-selling lists based on preorders alone, the fact that Amazon can shamelessly violate the embargo all booksellers had to sign is made even more disheartening and terrifying.

 

 

Paul Swydan, owner of Silver Unicorn Books, also took to Twitter to express his frustration:

 

 

Penguin Random House released a statement regarding the incident. However, they didn’t address Amazon by name, preferring to keep things vague.

 

 

Understandably, the independent booksellers Amazon continues to undercut are still angry and worried Amazon won’t be held accountable. After all, what can you actually do to affect the site that controls roughly 50% of book sales in the world. Even a publisher the size of Penguin Random House can’t really afford to tarnish their relationship with Amazon. Beach noted in another tweet that PRH could delay shipments of future releases to Amazon to prevent them from capitalizing on first-day sales. That’s the typical way smaller booksellers are disciplined, but who knows if PRH will or even can use those methods with Amazon.

 

 

Featured image via My Office Magazine and Instagram: @damagedbutinvigorated