photo of Margaret AtwoodPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

In the evenings there's been thunder, a distant bumping and stumbling, like God on a sullen binge.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The objects I chose were designed to hold something, but I didn't fill them up. They remained empty. They were little symbolic shrines to thirst.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

If you disagree with your government, that's political. If you disagree with your government that is approaching theocracy, then you're evil.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Don't be married to a line or verse if it can't rhyme, fit the meter, or doesn't fit the outline.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I'm not an activist by nature. I am suspicious of Utopian thinking and equally suspicious of its alternate.

--Margaret Atwood

Longer Version:

I'm not an activist by nature. I am suspicious of Utopian thinking and equally suspicious of its alternate. I would prefer to stay in the Writing Burrow and play with my imaginary friends and enemies. I get sucked into these things.



photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The true story is vicious and multiple and untrue after all. Why do you need it? Don't ever ask for the true story.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Hatred would have been easier. With hatred, I would have known what to do. Hatred is clear, metallic, one-handed, unwavering; unlike love.

--Margaret Atwood


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Human reason is a pin dancing on the head of an angel, so small is it in comparison to the Divine vastness that encircles us.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

God is not the voice in the whirlwind, God is the whirlwind.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I'm a fool, to confuse this with goodness. I am not good. I know too much to be good. I know myself. I know myself to be vengeful, greedy, secretive and sly.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Today on the way home, it snows. Big, soft caressing flakes fall onto our skin like cold moths; the air fills with feathers.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The truth, it seems, is not just what you find when you open a door: it is itself a door, which the poet is always on the verge of going through.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Men such as him do not have to clean up the messes they make, but we have to clean up our own messes, and theirs into the bargain.

--Margaret Atwood


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Every habit he's ever had is still there in his body, lying dormant like flowers in the desert. Given the right conditions, all his old addictions would burst into full and luxuriant bloom.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I felt white, drained of blood, cared for, purified. Peaceful.

--Margaret Atwood

Longer Version:

We're facing growing climate change, more floods, more droughts, more crisis on a planetary level, and the systems we put in place in the twentieth century are just not going to work. We've run out of stuff. Our big problems are going to be energy supplies and food supplies. This is not a right-left issue. It's a people issue, and it cuts across all our categories.


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

No matter how much you've been warned, Death always comes without knocking. Why now? is the cry. Why so soon? It's the cry of a child being called home at dusk.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Alone among the animals, we suffer from the future perfect tense.

--Margaret Atwood


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

How shrunk, how dwindled, in our times
Creation's mighty seed -
For Man has broke the Fellowship
With murder, lust, and greed.

--Margaret Atwood


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Laughter may instruct but it may also conceal, defending the joker against anger and retaliation: a game is only a game.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine -- Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like p té.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

What should I take? Something that will not be missed. In the wood at midnight, a magic flower.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Nobody dies from lack of sex. It's lack of love we die from.

--Margaret Atwood


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

What breaks in daybreak? Is it the night? Is it the sun, cracked in two by the horizon like an egg, spilling out light?

--Margaret Atwood




photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

What you don't know won't hurt you. A dubious maxim: sometimes what you don't know can hurt you very much.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

We understand more than we know.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

So that made me happy but the part that really made me happy was that you wanted me to be happy. That's what Thank you means.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

In my dreams of this city I am always lost.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

People change, though, especially after they are dead.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The proper study of Mankind is Everything.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Pink is supposed to weaken your enemies, make them go soft on you, which must be why it's used for baby girls. It's a wonder the military hasn't got on to this.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Religious people of any serious kind made her nervous: they were like men in raincoats who might or might not be flashers.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The truth is seldom welcome, especially at dinner.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I'm with the spirit of Earth-Day-yet-to-come. Nobody can really predict the future, all you can do is look at trends, and that could change at any moment.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I have periods now, like normal girls; I too am among the knowing, I too can sit out volleyball games and go to the nurse's for aspirin and waddle along the halls with a pad like a flattened rabbit tail wadded between my legs, sopping with liver-colored blood.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Just remember this, when the scream at last has ended and you've turned on the lights: by the rules of the game, I must always lie.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

There would be no Sherlock Holmes if it were not for serial publication.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves -- our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

A fist is more than the sum of its fingers.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

It must have been an endless breathing in: between the wish to know and the wish to praise there was no seam.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

If there were no emptiness, there would be no life.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

You can think clearly only with your clothes on.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Our heaven is their hell, said God. I like a balanced universe.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

What am I living for and what am I dying for are the same question.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Perfection exacts a price, but it's the imperfect who pay it.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I am afraid of falling into hopeless despair, over my wasted life, and I am still not sure how it happened.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

You are as innocent as a bathtub
full of bulleta.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

The witch is absolutely necessary.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Maybe none of this is about control...maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it.

--Margaret Atwood

Longer Version:

Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it really isn't about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit and who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.


photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

You need to give money when someone gives you a knife. So the bad luck won't cut you. I wouldn't like it for you to be cut by the bad luck, Jimmy.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Neither of us says the word love, not once. It would be tempting fate; it would be romance, bad luck.

--Margaret Atwood



photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I grew up amongst biologists.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

I stand holding the apple in both hands. It feels precious, like a heavy treasure. I lift it up and smell it. It has such an odour of outdoors on it I want to cry.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

For me the experience of writing is really an experience of losing control.... I think it's very much like dreaming or like surfing. You go out there and wait for a wave, and when it comes it takes you somewhere and you don't know where it'll go.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Nature is an expert in cost-benefit analysis,' she says. 'Although she does her accounting a little differently. As for debts, she always collects in the long run.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Every Canadian has a complicated relationship with the United States, whereas Americans think of Canada as the place where the weather comes from.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

A home filled with nothing but yourself. It's heavy, that lightness. It's crushing, that emptiness.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Art is long and life is brief and mortality looms.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

And the evening was so beautiful, that it made a pain in my heart, as when you cannot tell wether you are happy or sad; and I thought that if I could have a wish, it would be that nothing would ever change, and we would stay that way forever.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

Does feminist mean large unpleasant person who'll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings. To me it's the latter, so I sign up.

--Margaret Atwood
photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

All fathers are invisible in daytime; daytime is ruled by mothers and fathers come out at night. Darkness brings home fathers, with their real, unspeakable power. There is more to fathers than meets the eye.

--Margaret Atwood

photo of author Margaret Atwood with quote

My family was big on sharing. I guess it was just the way I was brought up. Or maybe, I read those fairy tales in which one good turn elicits another. But in writing, yes, some older writers were kind to me when I was young; although some others were not.

--Margaret Atwood

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