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The Burgess Shale

The Canadian Writing Landscape of the 1960s

Margaret Atwood
Marie Carrière, Introduction

Literary Criticism and Theory, Canadian Studies

Published: March 2017
ISBN: 9781772123012
Pages: 88 Size: 5.25x9
Illustrations: 10 black and white photographs

Margaret Atwood considers the Canadian literary landscape of the 1960s to be like the Burgess Shale, a geological formation that contains the fossils of many weird and strange early life forms, different from but not unrelated to contemporary writerly ones. The Burgess Shale is not all about writerly pursuits, though. Atwood also gives readers some insight into the fashions and foibles of the times. Her recollections and anecdotes offer a wry and often humorous look at the early days of the institutions taken for granted today—from writers’ unions and grant programs to book tours and festivals.

Margaret Atwood is known internationally for her award-winning poetry, short stories, and novels. She was born in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec. She has lived, studied, and worked in Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Boston as well as France, Italy, and Germany.