photo of Margaret AtwoodPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons
quote by Margaret Atwood: I wish you good writing and good luck. Even if you've already done the good writing, you'll still need the good luck. It's a shark-filled lagoon out there. Cross your fingers and watch your back. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I wish you good writing and good luck. Even if you've already done the good writing, you'll still need the good luck. It's a shark-filled lagoon out there. Cross your fingers and watch your back.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: I'm interested in the Gothic novel because it's very much a woman's form. Why is there such a wide readership for books that essentially say, 'Your husband is trying to kill you'? with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I'm interested in the Gothic novel because it's very much a woman's form. Why is there such a wide readership for books that essentially say, 'Your husband is trying to kill you'?

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: The young habitually mistake lust for love, they're infested with idealism of all kinds. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The young habitually mistake lust for love, they're infested with idealism of all kinds.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Romance takes place in the middle distance. Romance is looking in at yourself through a window clouded with dew. Romance means leaving things out: where life grunts and shuffles, romance only sighs. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Romance takes place in the middle distance. Romance is looking in at yourself through a window clouded with dew. Romance means leaving things out: where life grunts and shuffles, romance only sighs.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Writing poetry is a state of free float. with background image: white ceramic pencil organizer on top of stack of books
Background Photo: Debby Hudson

Writing poetry is a state of free float.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually heating bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew it. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually heating bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew it.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you've been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you've been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: We lived in the gaps between the stories. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

We lived in the gaps between the stories.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Better never means better for everyone... It always means worse, for some. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Better never means better for everyone... It always means worse, for some.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want? with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want?

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Maybe the life I think I'm living is a paranoid delusion...Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Maybe the life I think I'm living is a paranoid delusion...Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: It's rather useless to write a gripping narrative with nothing in it but climate change because novels are always about people even if they purport to be about rabbits or robots. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

It's rather useless to write a gripping narrative with nothing in it but climate change because novels are always about people even if they purport to be about rabbits or robots.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: There were a lot of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

There were a lot of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Thy only authentic ending is the one provided here: John and Mary die, John and Mary die, John and Mary die. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Thy only authentic ending is the one provided here: John and Mary die, John and Mary die, John and Mary die.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: When we're young, we like happy endings. When we're a little older, we think happy endings are unrealistic and so we prefer bad but credible endings. When we're older still, we realize happy endings … with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

When we're young, we like happy endings. When we're a little older, we think happy endings are unrealistic and so we prefer bad but credible endings. When we're older still, we realize happy endings aren't so bad after all.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Homelessness is a nationality now. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Homelessness is a nationality now.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Stick a shovel into the ground almost anywhere and some horrible thing or other will come to light. Good for trade, we thrive on bones; without them there'd be no stories. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Stick a shovel into the ground almost anywhere and some horrible thing or other will come to light. Good for trade, we thrive on bones; without them there'd be no stories.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Where do you draw the line, between love and greed? We never did know, we always wanted more. We want to take it all in, for one last time, we want to eat the world with our eyes. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Where do you draw the line, between love and greed? We never did know, we always wanted more. We want to take it all in, for one last time, we want to eat the world with our eyes.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I reach out in love, my hands are guns,
my good intentions are completely lethal. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I reach out in love, my hands are guns,
my good intentions are completely lethal.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Forced to chose between one irascible tyrant and another, Laura had chosen the one which was greater, and also further away. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Forced to chose between one irascible tyrant and another, Laura had chosen the one which was greater, and also further away.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I feel despised there, for having so little money; also for once having had so much. I never actually had it, of course. Father had it, and then Richard. But money was imputed to me, the same way cri… with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I feel despised there, for having so little money; also for once having had so much. I never actually had it, of course. Father had it, and then Richard. But money was imputed to me, the same way crimes are imputed to those who've simply been present at them.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: As human beings, we are always torn between individual freedom and the ability of choose our actions, and the need for at least enough social structure so that anarchy, chaos, and warlordery -- or th… with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

As human beings, we are always torn between individual freedom and the ability of choose our actions, and the need for at least enough social structure so that anarchy, chaos, and warlordery -- or the war of all against all -- can be avoided.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: We battled in secret, undeclared, and after a while I no longer fought back because I never won. The only defense was flight, invisibility. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

We battled in secret, undeclared, and after a while I no longer fought back because I never won. The only defense was flight, invisibility.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: I was horrified in high school by the fate of the hanged maids at the end of the Odyssey; it seemed unfair to me, even then. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I was horrified in high school by the fate of the hanged maids at the end of the Odyssey; it seemed unfair to me, even then.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: But what is a memorial, when you come right down to it, but a commemoration of wounds endured? Endured, and resented. Without memory, there can be no revenge. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

But what is a memorial, when you come right down to it, but a commemoration of wounds endured? Endured, and resented. Without memory, there can be no revenge.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: What a moron I was to think you were sweet and innocent, when it turns out you were actually college-educated the whole time! with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

What a moron I was to think you were sweet and innocent, when it turns out you were actually college-educated the whole time!

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Always good to take a look at the long list for the Mann Booker, for the Commonwealth. It gives you an overview.There is so much going on all over the world that it's impossible for one person to kee… with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Always good to take a look at the long list for the Mann Booker, for the Commonwealth. It gives you an overview.There is so much going on all over the world that it's impossible for one person to keep up. And I can't.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Debt is not just a money thing. It's about owing and being owed. Money is just one thing you can exchange. You can exchange good deeds, you can exchange revenge, you can exchange murders. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Debt is not just a money thing. It's about owing and being owed. Money is just one thing you can exchange. You can exchange good deeds, you can exchange revenge, you can exchange murders.

--Margaret Atwood



quote by Margaret Atwood: Nobody wanted to be sexless, but nobody wanted to be nothing but sex. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Nobody wanted to be sexless, but nobody wanted to be nothing but sex.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Science fiction went through a period that was mostly object-oriented or inventions for distant galaxies.But when we cracked the genetic DNA code, opened the big Pandora's box, and it really did beco… with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Science fiction went through a period that was mostly object-oriented or inventions for distant galaxies.But when we cracked the genetic DNA code, opened the big Pandora's box, and it really did become possible to produce chimeras, my ears shot up.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: I'm a refugee from the past, and like other refugees I go over the customs and habits of being I've left or been forced to leave behind me, and it all seems just as quaint, from here, and I am just a… with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I'm a refugee from the past, and like other refugees I go over the customs and habits of being I've left or been forced to leave behind me, and it all seems just as quaint, from here, and I am just as obsessive about it.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I follow suit, said the lion, 
vacating his coat of arms 
and movie logos; and the eagle said, 
Get me off this flag. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I follow suit, said the lion,
vacating his coat of arms
and movie logos; and the eagle said,
Get me off this flag.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I could end this with a moral,
as if this were a fable about animals,
though no fables are really about animals. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I could end this with a moral,
as if this were a fable about animals,
though no fables are really about animals.

--Margaret Atwood


quote by Margaret Atwood: Powerlessness and silence go together. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Powerlessness and silence go together.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: There's the story, then there's the real story, then there's the story of how the story came to be told. Then there's what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

There's the story, then there's the real story, then there's the story of how the story came to be told. Then there's what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Repeat reading for me shares a few things with hot-water bottles and thumbsucking: comfort, familiarity, the recurrence of the expected. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Repeat reading for me shares a few things with hot-water bottles and thumbsucking: comfort, familiarity, the recurrence of the expected.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Much latitude is given by those in power to professionals who can relieve them of pain. The doctors, the dentists, the lawyers, the accountants: in the new world of Gilead, as in the old, their sins … with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Much latitude is given by those in power to professionals who can relieve them of pain. The doctors, the dentists, the lawyers, the accountants: in the new world of Gilead, as in the old, their sins are frequently forgiven them.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: A lot of being a poet consists of willed ignorance. If you woke up from your trance and realized the nature of the life-threatening and dignity-destroying precipice you were walking along, you would … with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

A lot of being a poet consists of willed ignorance. If you woke up from your trance and realized the nature of the life-threatening and dignity-destroying precipice you were walking along, you would switch into actuarial sciences immediately.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: A suicide is both a rebuke to the living and a puzzle that defies them to solve it. Like a poem, suicide is finished and refuses to answer questions as to its final cause. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

A suicide is both a rebuke to the living and a puzzle that defies them to solve it. Like a poem, suicide is finished and refuses to answer questions as to its final cause.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I beliebe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I beliebe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I took care not to react. It's a skill, not reacting. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I took care not to react. It's a skill, not reacting.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: How old do you have to get before wisdom descends like a plastic bag over your head and you learn to keep your big mouth shut? Maybe never. Maybe you get more frivolous with age. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

How old do you have to get before wisdom descends like a plastic bag over your head and you learn to keep your big mouth shut? Maybe never. Maybe you get more frivolous with age.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Everything is post these days, as if we're all just a footnote to something earlier that was real enough to have a name of its own. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Everything is post these days, as if we're all just a footnote to something earlier that was real enough to have a name of its own.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: The ancestral voices were prophesying war because ancestral voices never shut up, and they hate to be wrong, and war is a sure thing, sooner or later. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The ancestral voices were prophesying war because ancestral voices never shut up, and they hate to be wrong, and war is a sure thing, sooner or later.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I don't think of poetry as a 'rational' activity but as an aural one. My poems usually begin with words or phrases which appeal more because of their sound than their meaning, and the movement and ph… with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I don't think of poetry as a 'rational' activity but as an aural one. My poems usually begin with words or phrases which appeal more because of their sound than their meaning, and the movement and phrasing of a poem are very important to me.

--Margaret Atwood


quote by Margaret Atwood: There's nothing like a shovel full of dirt to encourage literacy. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

There's nothing like a shovel full of dirt to encourage literacy.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Science is not something that exists apart from human beings. It's one of the things we do as human beings, and we always have done science and technology in some form. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Science is not something that exists apart from human beings. It's one of the things we do as human beings, and we always have done science and technology in some form.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Anyway, maybe there weren't any solutions. Human society, corpses and rubble. It never learned, it made the same cretinous mistakes over and over, trading short-term gain for long-term pain. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Anyway, maybe there weren't any solutions. Human society, corpses and rubble. It never learned, it made the same cretinous mistakes over and over, trading short-term gain for long-term pain.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Beginnings are sudden, but also insidious. They creep up on you sideways, they keep to the shadows, they lurk unrecognized. Then, later, they spring. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Beginnings are sudden, but also insidious. They creep up on you sideways, they keep to the shadows, they lurk unrecognized. Then, later, they spring.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Even an obvious fabrication is some comfort when you have few others. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Even an obvious fabrication is some comfort when you have few others.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Without the protection of surliness and levity, all children would be crushed by the past--the past of others, loaded onto their shoulders. Selfishness is their saving grace. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Without the protection of surliness and levity, all children would be crushed by the past--the past of others, loaded onto their shoulders. Selfishness is their saving grace.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: An unearned income encourages self-pity in those already prone to it. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

An unearned income encourages self-pity in those already prone to it.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: You can wet the rim of a glass and run your finger around the rim and it will make a sound. This is what I feel like: this sound of glass. I feel like the word shatter. I want to be with someone. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

You can wet the rim of a glass and run your finger around the rim and it will make a sound. This is what I feel like: this sound of glass. I feel like the word shatter. I want to be with someone.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence.

--Margaret Atwood

Longer Version:

Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence. Time and distance blur the edges; then suddenly the beloved has arrived, and it's noon with its merciless light, and every spot and pore and wrinkle and bristle stands clear.


quote by Margaret Atwood: I am rather saddened at the end of a book. I think most writers find this. It's like a friend departing on a voyage. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I am rather saddened at the end of a book. I think most writers find this. It's like a friend departing on a voyage.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: We are silent, considering shortfalls. There's not much time left, for us to become what we once intended. Jon had potential, but it's not a word that can be used comfortably any more. Potential has … with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

We are silent, considering shortfalls. There's not much time left, for us to become what we once intended. Jon had potential, but it's not a word that can be used comfortably any more. Potential has a shelf-life.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Potential has a shelf life. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Potential has a shelf life.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I'm not senile, I snapped. If I burn the house down it will be on purpose. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I'm not senile, I snapped. If I burn the house down it will be on purpose.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Once a month I wake in the night, slippery with terror. I'm afraid, not because there's someone in the room, in the dark, in the bed, but because there isn't. I'm afraid of the emptiness, which lies … with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Once a month I wake in the night, slippery with terror. I'm afraid, not because there's someone in the room, in the dark, in the bed, but because there isn't. I'm afraid of the emptiness, which lies beside me like a corpse.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: Where to start is the problem, because nothing begins when it begins and nothing's over when it's over, and everything needs a preface: a preface, a postscript, a chart of simultaneous events. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Where to start is the problem, because nothing begins when it begins and nothing's over when it's over, and everything needs a preface: a preface, a postscript, a chart of simultaneous events.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: These things sneak up on him for no reason, these flashes of irrational happiness. It's probably a vitamin deficiency. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

These things sneak up on him for no reason, these flashes of irrational happiness. It's probably a vitamin deficiency.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I began to forget myself in the middle of sentences. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I began to forget myself in the middle of sentences.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: Every budding dictatorship begins by muzzling the artists, because they're a mouthy lot and they don't line up and salute very easily. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Every budding dictatorship begins by muzzling the artists, because they're a mouthy lot and they don't line up and salute very easily.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: I feel buried. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I feel buried.

--Margaret Atwood


quote by Margaret Atwood: A hot wind was blowing around my head, the strands of my hair lifting and swirling in it, like ink spilled in water. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

A hot wind was blowing around my head, the strands of my hair lifting and swirling in it, like ink spilled in water.

--Margaret Atwood
quote by Margaret Atwood: If a god showed up every time you put a quarter in the prayer slot it wouldn't be God, it would be a puppet that you could control by doing that...that would make the deity subservient to you. So it … with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

If a god showed up every time you put a quarter in the prayer slot it wouldn't be God, it would be a puppet that you could control by doing that...that would make the deity subservient to you. So it wouldn't be a deity would it?

--Margaret Atwood


quote by Margaret Atwood: Writing is very improvisational. It's like trying to fix a broken sewing machine with safety pins and rubber bands. A lot of tinkering. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Writing is very improvisational. It's like trying to fix a broken sewing machine with safety pins and rubber bands. A lot of tinkering.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: If someone wants to suck your toes, those toes should be worth sucking. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

If someone wants to suck your toes, those toes should be worth sucking.

--Margaret Atwood

quote by Margaret Atwood: About no subject are poets tempted to lie so much as about their own lives. with background image: photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

About no subject are poets tempted to lie so much as about their own lives.

--Margaret Atwood

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