Tonight at 7 p.m. in Shove Chapel, Margaret Atwood will be kicking off the Visiting Writer’s Series for the school year and talking about her most recent novel, “The Year of the Flood.”
Atwood is a prolific Canadian writer best known for her novels but is also an acclaimed author of poetry, short stories, non-fiction, children’s literature, and essays.
Her latest novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and focuses on a community that has survived a biological catastrophe.
“The Year of the Flood” received the honor of the All Pikes Peak Reads book selection this year and the Pikes Peak Library and Demarest Lloyd Lecture Fund for the Humanities have collaborated in bringing the author to Colorado College.
“Really, the Pikes Peak Library came to us and asked if we wanted to collaborate in bringing Margaret Atwood to the Springs and we said yes,” said Steven Hayward, English Department professor, on booking the internationally-renowned writer.
Hayward elaborated on Atwood’s importance as a literary presence in the contemporary age. “[Atwood] is really one of the most essential and indispensable voices of our time,” he said. It’s impossible to overstate her accomplishment, both as a popular author and a critical success.”
One aspect of Atwood’s literature that is appealing to many audiences is her often dark and frighteningly realistic constructions of society.
“I would describe Atwood’s genre as dystopian literature. Kind of fantasy or sci-fi, but realistic enough to draw connections between the worlds she creates and our culture,” Haley Montgomery, a junior excited to attend the lecture, said.
Junior Matthew Potter expressed the importance of the topics Atwood focuses on in her writing. “She is a contemporary author who we all can learn from,” he said.
Atwood’s lecture is sure to be as educational and engaging as her writing. According to Hayward, her lecture will likely involve an unforgettable reading from “The Year of the Flood.” However, it is probable she will expand her talk to touch on relevant social issues, especially environmentalism.
Atwood’s lecture will not be the first by an internationally recognized author at Colorado College. In the past, the English department and program has secured the likes of Kay Ryan, the former U.S. poet laureate, and Jonathon Lethem, a premiere American author.
“We’ve had some really great writers in recent years,” Hayward said of past participants in the series. Hayward stressed the upcoming school year’s Visiting Writer’s Series as truly something “to look forward to.”
Atwood is currently working on the third installment of her trilogy in the “Oryx and Crake” universe, the same universe where “The Year of the Flood” takes place. The novel, “Maddaddam,” will be released next year.
Ming Lee Newcomb