Due to my completely insane work and school schedule, I don’t get to read as much as I would like. I especially don’t get to read anything that was written in the last 20 or 30 years that isn’t a text book or about the music business.
I have, however, gotten the opportunity to read a few of Margaret Atwood’s books over the last couple of years, most notably The Penelopiad, which is the Odyssey told from Penelope’s point of view, and Year of the Flood, her latest. I enjoyed both, and was incredibly excited to hear that she would be speaking at Belmont. One of my professors even made it a requirement to go, but in all honesty I would have gone even if that hadn’t been the case.
Let me tell you, this woman was funny, and in a very dry, sarcastic way (my personal favorite). Hearing her read passages from Year of the Flood made me realize the humor she injects even into the darker passages. When I was reading it the absurdity of “Mole Day” or the “Anooyoo” products wasn’t completely lost on me, but hearing them out loud made me smile in amusement.
After she talked a little bit about her most recent works and read a few passages from them she took audience questions, some of which were good, some of which were rambling, but man was she quick-witted about all of them. When asked about being a feminist writer she rattled off a few old, incredibly outdated thoughts about women, and once again she pointed out absurdity in a way few people can. She never answered the question outright, but I think she was implying that if writing about women as if they were human beings with souls made her a feminist writer, then so be it. She also took questions about things from references to finger-sucking in her novels and literary theorists who might be way off base but make up theories that are incredibly flattering and make her seem like an even more impressive writer than she already is.
If you didn’t make it out to see her tonight then don’t fret, you have two more chances tomorrow. She’ll be at Belmont’s Massey Board Room at 9am and will be in the Lila D. Bunch Library’s Bunch Multimedia Hall (on the second floor) at 11am.
If there’s any way you can get out to see her I highly recommend it. As one of my friends said after we left the building, “I want her to be my best friend.”