Please note as of Sept. 30, 2022: The Aiken Lecture Series 2022 Event with Margaret Atwood is canceled. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ms. Atwood is unable to travel to Vermont at this time.
The University of Vermont welcomes two-time Booker prize-winning author of over 50 books, including The Handmaid’s Tale and its record-breaking sequel, The Testaments, Margaret Atwood as the 2022 George Aiken Lecture Speaker.
Atwood, who has been described as the most important living author of our time, is an internationally famous novelist who writes fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. Perhaps best known for her haunting visions of future dystopias, Atwood explores issues related to gender and identity, religion and myth, the power of language, climate change, and even power politics. Atwood’s sharp eye is more crucial—and prescient—than ever.
This special event with Margaret Atwood is hosted by the University of Vermont College of Arts and Sciences and produced in partnership with the University of Vermont Professional and Continuing Education.
Atwood will be joined by Maria Hummel, Professor of creative writing at UVM and author of four novels and an award-winning poetry collection. Hummel will discuss Atwood’s newest collection of essays as well as her famous titles including Handmaid’s Tale.
“Margaret Atwood has been a defining influence on literature and culture for generations now. Her ability to imagine our darkest possible futures is equaled by her perceptiveness for interrogating our past,” says Maria Hummel. “I see her not just as one of our most brilliant writers, but as a visionary who operates with the purest devotion to human history. It will be a great honor to converse with her and hear her insights on her extraordinary career.”
Additional novels written by Atwood include:
- Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize
- Alias Grace, winner of the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy
- The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize
- Oryx and Crake, short-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize
- The Year of the Flood
- Burning Questions, a collection of essays published in March 2022
Her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted into a 15-time Emmy Award-winning television series, including Best Drama, and its sequel, The Testaments, recently won the 2019 Booker Prize. Atwood’s Giller-winning, Booker-shortlisted murder mystery Alias Grace is now streaming on Netflix and was notably written, produced, and directed by women.
Atwood, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. In 2019, she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature–given for achievements in the arts, literature, science, and politics—by Queen Elizabeth, making Atwood only the third Canadian to receive the honor.
But before Atwood was a novelist, she was a poet. And recently, she released her first poetry collection in over a decade: Dearly. By turns “moving, playful, and wise,” the poems gathered in Dearly explore bodies and minds in transition while observing the objects and rituals that ground us in the present moment.
George D. Aiken Lecture Series
UVM’s George D. Aiken Lectures are a permanent tribute to the former Dean of the United States Senate and Governor of Vermont for his many years of service to the people of the state and nation. The George D. Aiken Lecture series has been supported by an endowment created by George and Lola Aiken and held annually at the University of Vermont. Since 1975, the lectures provide a platform for distinctive views on critical American issues and is the University’s major annual public-policy forum.