Margaret Atwood reflects on her new graphic novel

Margaret Atwood reflects on her new graphic novel

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the word icon isn't one to throw around lightly but it is one that certainly applies to Margaret Atwood the acclaimed Canadian author has written more than 40 books of fiction poetry and critical essays she's won the Giller Prize the Man Booker Prize and countless other awards which is why you might be surprised to hear about her latest literary offering it's a graphic novel comic and not just any graphic novel angel catbird is a graphic novel with a hero whose get this part man part Apple and part cat she collaborated with artists Johnny Christmas and I had a chance to sit down with that wood to chat about her new book the collaborative process and the sheer volume of work right now on her plate so for a book lover sitting down with the creator of your favorite story he's always a real treat but when that author happens to me Margaret Atwood even more so thanks for being with us on your morning new I love how you started your latest work a graphic novel and I just want to read from the introduction I love this what is a nice literary old lady like me an award-winning nice literary old lady who should be resting on her laurels in her rocking chair being dignified and iconic why is she writing a graphic novel so why exactly why now well it seemed like the best way of doing what I wanted to do but also I come from a deep background of comics they were the culture for kids in the forties that and Saturday movies there was no television but they weren't just for kids then adults read them too and let us not forget that Pogo in his day was a very political cartoon which ones did you read I read all of them every single one that I could get my hands on tell me angel catbirds the character's name is strig philetus yes I am trying to figure out where this name came from I wrote it backwards I thought it was a word scramble tell me where his name comes from okay the straig part if you're looking for the Latin names for owls you'll find where this Drake comes from if you look at the scientific name for cats you will find out where the cat part comes from I knew it was more than just an interesting name that is an interesting name but that's where it comes from and all the scientists and Court know it immediately I love that you've had such a hand in putting together these characters you're not just you know they're not just created in your mind anymore you've had to do them on paper along with Johnny yeah what was that process like for you you've written novels long-form novels to write in simple language and to share this process I've written film scripts I've written television scripts it's a lot like that it's a collaborative thing you're working with other people and you know that they are going to bring a whole other dimension to what you're doing like many dimensions do you like that oh yes when I'm not in my megalomaniac control-freak mood I love I want to put aside author Margaret Atwood for just one second and talk about you as a woman I find you very impressive and inspiring you have a long-term partnership you have had commercial success in every decade of your career and you're always growing I mean you had more by the time I joined Twitter you had tens of thousands of followers you're almost at 1.3 million now where does that come from where does it come from I think probably nobody told me not to you know I'm before the age of for instance Creative Writing schools I'm before the age of a lot of the infrastructure that exists today people think I have to have a career I have to have a brand all of those sorts of things none of that was around so we were just in those years the fifties and the sixties and to some extent the 70s we were inventing stuff because it wasn't there it takes a lot of courage no it doesn't what are the hazards one would face I think there are a lot of things that are pretty risky now partly because of social media and people who take stands often get inundated with negative comments but none of that was was there then the worst that could happen to you was a snotty review and of course that did happen everybody you need to have at least one in your lifetimes they understand them so I think it was it was risky from a financial point of view but we always thought we would have to have day jobs but everybody doesn't expect it that you would you didn't think you and walk out of university and become a best-selling author and yeah those didn't really exist in Canada much tell me about this new audience that's enjoying the graphic novel Margaret Atwood I saw some pictures from comic-con what was that like for you it's a nice crowd the comic-con people feel they're all in it together and there's a huge amount of diversity and a huge amount of acceptance of whoever you may happen to be so if you've got a head covered with snakes everybody thinks oh well that's just them head covered with snake person last thing before we go you have so many projects on the go both digitally television Netflix Hulu do you ever say to yourself alright enough now Margaret well luckily I'm not in charge of those other projects they're being made of my books but they're being made by other people so I get to I get to consult and watch and have fun but I'm not in charge so and they they're not really my projects in that sense I do sometimes feel that it's a bit of a pylon at the moment so it's it's angel catbird hags heed my tempest Shakespeare project is coming out in October and that will also be a big project then we have the Handmaid's Tale start shooting in September as a television series alias gray start shooting in middle of August as a miniseries six episodes and down the line we have a couple of more more ones coming so the whole met an emoji is HBO and Darren Aronofsky this is what I'm talking about yeah I know it's more on the go than I have long ago please don't ever stop thank you for today thank you


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