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Surviving CanLit with Margaret Atwood

As a part of the launch of the new A-List series, a curated selection of titles from Anansi’s backlist featuring handsome new covers and introductions by well-known Canadian writers, comes Margaret Atwood‘s Survival, with an introduction by the author. Read on for an excerpt from the introduction.

The raucous though unlikely success of Survival caused me to morph overnight from a lady poet with peculiar hair to the Wicked Witch of the North, accused of evil communism or bourgeois capitalistic sycophancy, though others greeted me as the long-awaited forger of the uncreated conscience of CanLit. I did not think I was either – I believed I was just writing a useful handbook to a little-known subject, a sort of early Idiot’s Guide; but screens onto which images are projected seldom get a say as to the nature of those images, and neither did I.

It’s incredible that the House of Anansi has itself survived for forty-five years, and that it has gone beyond mere survival, and is now thriving. I hope it will persist for another forty-five years, and that Canada will persist as well – and that the reading of books will still take place then, and that readers will continue to find such reading an enjoyable and meaningful way to spend time. For if so, the human race will also have survived. And why should it not? Incredible things do happen.

Ms. Atwood will be at the Vancouver Writers Festival on Saturday, October 20, at 10:30 a.m. for a “Beyond Survival” event with Graeme Gibson, Dionne Brand, Louise Dennys, Emily Schultz, and Aritha Van Herk.

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