Friday, March 26, 2010

Atwood and Brown: Together at Last

Last night, at the Toronto Reference Library, Ian Brown interviewed Margaret Atwood onstage. They are both funny people in their own right, although I'd say Atwood had the upper hand last night, and they had the audience laughing from the get-go.

On the agenda (which Brown had in front of him on several pages of folded white paper) were Atwood's numerous awards, the relationship between The Year of the Flood and Oryx and Crake, how and where she does writing, her visions of the futu
re, the role of narrative in society, and her relationship with her parents. It was a hodge-podge of an evening that somehow managed to flow together into exactly what you'd want a live interview with Atwood to be: insightful and hilarious.

Of The Year of the Flood and Oryx and Crake, Atwood described The Year of the Flood as the "meanwhile" of Oryx and Crake. Oryx and Crake ends in an ambiguous way, and Atwood said she did that because she wasn't entirely sure what happened; The Year of the Flood, which ends about eight hours after Oryx and Crake revisits the end and offers and explanation. A third novel, which will also run concurrently to the time frame of Oryx and Crake is in the works.

I took notes through the entire thing, including jotting down some of the funnier things that were said, but without Atwood's simultaneously dry and twinkling delivery, something gets lost in writing them down. I will say this, though: If you get the chance to see Atwood interviewed live, take it (especially if you have someone as skilled as Brown doing the interviewing).

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