New York, Portsmouth NH, Portland OR: week of Sept. 20

Yes, this is out of chronological order, and I didn’t do so well with the picture-taking, but…

September 20, New York: A fine sunny day, in which I and Kim Sheu from Anchor (pictured with The Turnip) wandered the media labyrinths of New York, stopping first at the Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, where we discussed shoes and ships and sealing wax, and whether TWITTER has wings….

Then — with a stroll through the architecturally-inventive Sukka City — we went to the Market in Union Square, to get a dress-up outfit for my friend The Turnip, who is still pondering on whether to run for Canadian Prime Minister. (See the SUN post, earlier.) He/she/it is usually the earthy type, a person who believes in being true to its humble roots, but it felt it should wear something special for the Anchor publishing lunch, ostensibly to celebrate the paperback publication of The Year of the Flood, but really an excuse for Nan Talese, LuAnn Walther, and Jen Marshall to sell The Turnip on the idea of writing its memoirs. It picked out a purple cabbage number, a little slick for it but you have to admit it looks as if it’s having a good time.

Then The Turnip accompanied us to Big Think, where Max Miller (pictured) was interviewed by it, or vice versa. I did some of that, as well.

In the evening, at the 92nd Street Y, I did an onstage event with very old pal Valerie Martin and visited also with traslator John Cullen, who has just won the French American Foundation translation Prize for Phillippe Claudel’s novel, BRODECK. Before that, we all had dinner with Russell Perrault of Vintage +, Twitter address: PerreaultNYC.

Backstage, I got my picture taken by Nancy Crampton, who’s been making writers look good for a loooong time.

We will not talk about how early I had to get up the next morning, but…

Portsmouth, NH: The Music Hall, a beautifully restored 19th C music hall for Writers on a New England Stage.
A special band (pictured) headed by played music from The Year of the Flood, Kathleen Shannon took overall came, I blathered, the interviewer interviewed, and old lit-pal Stephen King turned up backstage, with Dan Brown and Stephen’s son Joe Hill, author and comic-book writer (Locke and Key). What did we talk about? I’m afraid to say we discussed the boot fetishism of Wonder Woman’s creator, and the Jungian patterning in Batman’s classic enemies… Don’t tell me that Catwoman is not a Dark Anima!

Virginia Prescott of Word of Mouth did the great onstage interview.

And the next morning I had breakfast with very old friend Marie Harris
and was given a copy of her excellent memoir, Your Sun, Manny. Hadn’t seen Marie for donkey’s years but it was as if we’d just had tea the day before.

Then it was off to:

Portland, OR: Where I stayed at the writer-conscious Heathman Hotel, in one of the fine book cities of the USA. Portland Arts and Lectures put on the event, which was not a hair-pull over science fiction between me and Ursula K. LeGuin — she knows I love her – but more like a sort of quirky schmooze between two folks from a galaxy far far away who don’t give a rodent’s posterior what anyone thinks, or not in the weird lit. dept. anyway.

Jeff Baker did a story for

And here’s some radio:

This was more fun than a barrel of snail-eared mutants, and I dedicated my recent flagrant and inexcusable watching (on a plane) of the 1953 film Invaders from Mars to Ursula.

(“What claptrap!” “Yeees… but Iconic claptrap!”)

Now – what would you say if I told you I’ve just been invited to I-CON in 2011? You heard it here…


Filed under 1, YOTF Tour Blog

18 responses to “New York, Portsmouth NH, Portland OR: week of Sept. 20

  1. Do we get to see the photo by Nancy Crampton? Did you smile?

    Jeff Baker ( ): “Atwood is … a bit of a character.” In which book? I’d like to read that. 🙂

    • marg09

      I hope we get to see the Nancy photo… I will ask! (She has taken pics of many a writer and has a book of them.) I think I smiled, or possibly twitched.

  2. Oryx & Crake was better, less pseudo-Christian mumbo & more action. But neat the way the 2 meshed at the ned.

  3. hi margaret ..اhw r u ?
    am maha from saudi arabia
    i hav to make a presentation about ur novel The Robber Bride and i want to just say i loved it alot and i hope from u to see my coment and respond it

    • marg09

      Hello Maha: Very good luck with your presentation! I enjoyed writing The Robber Bride and i am so pleased that you enjoyed reading it. With best wishes, Margaret

      • Islam

        Hello Dear Mrs. Margaret,
        Sorry to interrupt your conversation with ‘maha’, but this was the only way I could contact you. My name is Islam Muradov and currently I am doing Oral Commentary on one of your best novels, The Handmaid’s Tale.
        I chose this book, because it is enriched with symbolism about freedom and women rights.
        The topic that I will present and talk about will be: “The symbolism of Night in Handmaid’s Tale.”
        I have noticed that “Night” chapters have a pattern and they contain the content about freedom. And one of the most best quotes: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” comes up in “Night” chapter.
        Mrs. Margaret, Is there anything particularly, you would suggest to analyze and look for in my topic? I am looking forward to look at “Night” chapters from the point of view of the author.

        Best Wishes,

        Islam Muradov

      • marg09

        Hello Islam: I think you are doing very well already. The “Night” chapters are indeed associated with freedom but also with transgression and the crossing of set boundaries. Remember also that the society in The Handmaid’s Tale is not a simple men vs. women. It is more like a pyramid, with the men on the bottom being as strictly limited and controlled as the women of lesser standing. Good luck with your commentary! Margaret

  4. thank you alot for ur responding ..
    really it shocked me O_O
    coz i tried to send an e mail to ur adress coz i didnt find any E mail for u to contact or sending my brother coz he is in Toronto for studying
    to ask u about this novel The Robber Bride
    coz really i wanna know to complete my presentation .. what is your main point that made u these kind of female characters .. wt u want from us as a readers to understand about these 4 girls – the 3 friends and Zynia
    really i lovd it and i belevie that there r many woman in all the world like them and i really wanna no ur point or idea that is inside u
    am waiting u my sweaty margaret =)

    • marg09

      Hello: if you go onto website at you can find the Margaret Atwood Society where a lot of people write about my books. I wrote the book partly because someone said there were no female con artists, but I knew there were! Also: we’re fooled partly because something in the one fooling us has the “key” that allows that person to get into your space through a door that it usually locked. I was interested in magical female figures, how such figures shape-change, how we are seen differently by different people….

  5. if u dont mind also =)
    why u made the end of this novel like that??
    actually its the best ending for Zenia but why u left it clear ending for a murder !
    i have a Curiosity to know please tell me =)

  6. i didnt see ur second replay sorry !
    i really appreciate ur point ..
    and really i love my sense that made me choose this novel =)
    really i lovd ur work and ur replays
    and u lookin beautiful and i wll take ur pics to make my 4 female character in ur novel The Robber Bride
    and i wll send the project to u here god well .. =)

  7. Sandra Dascensao

    Ms. Atwood,
    I saw you in Portsmouth NH. I drove from Massachusetts on a work night for the chance! And convinced a friend to join me. She is currently reading Year of the Flood at my urging.
    It was a pleasure to hear you speak about the book!
    You have been my writing idol for quite some time.
    I am on the verge (precipice?) of 50 and I am halfway through my BA in English and Creative Writing. In real life I work as an engineer. I tell people the English degree is my mid-life crisis (and at my age it beats taking up pole dancing).
    A perfect evening was made even better by seeing Stephen King – my other favorite writer. Friends have commented that it is odd that I woud choose you and Mr King as my favorites. My choice has been validated! You are both extraordinary talents.
    Thanks for coming to Portsmouth. I am waiting impatiently for your next book!

  8. Alias_Trace

    Ms. Atwood,

    I was reading over your blog again and finally had the courage to post. I’m a huge fan and have been since I read Surfacing as a teen. I have read most of your works and have started a collection of your earlier books that I am most proud of. I’ve recently started listening to them on audio. It’s magical for me. I loved to hear the God’s Gardeners hymns. I don’t want to take up too much of your time but wanted to thank you for giving my generation and many more to come, literature that can be discussed during a long car ride or used as a wonderful escape from the everyday, and yes a dystopian escape is sometimes the best.

  9. Holly Stick

    Hi Margaret, this is a head’s up to watch for possible incoming feedback. I just posted a couple of your blog posts over here in the comments:

    (Don’t blame me, someone else mentioned you first.)

    aka Stickwaver

  10. Susan Madar

    Happy Birthday, Margaret Atwood!!

    I just finished reading Cat’s Eye. Thank you.

  11. Another huge fan. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your interview on Woman’s Hour just lately. I was greatly impressed by the Robber Bride when I first read it many, many years ago. The discussion brought it all back in sharp relief. Thank you.

  12. Emil Cessan

    I do not read nor write, yet I do it all the time. Thousands of poems and books are written inside me. I came across a book called the Tent, on the airplane I found time to read it. I understood it all, yet the writer must be very seperate from the woman using twitter giving food to her ego, growing from a sweet little dragon to something unkillable. I do not know what made me write this, maybe I too have a monster to unleash.

  13. Good Morning ..
    hello Dear lovely Margaret ..
    I apologize for the delay ..
    this is my presentation about The Robber Bride that I told you about ..
    I presented it and all my Doctors loved it and
    Appreciated my working alot .. really I Enjoyed it very much =)
    my teacher will upload it in our university website
    to make it available to evry one in Mecca University .. what do you think about this news
    its really WooooooW
    and its my pleasure if you see it ..
    download the file from this link
    and i will be waiting for your coment .. ..
    LOVE YOU ..

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