Randolph-Macon College will host author Margaret Atwood on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in Blackwell Auditorium, R-MC Center for the Performing Arts. A reception and book-signing will follow the reading. This event is free and open to the public.
Atwood is the author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Recent publications are Moral Disorder (2007), a collection of interconnected short stories, The Door (2007), a collection of poetry, and the CBC Massey Lecture Series, published by Anansi as Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008). Her newest novel, The Year of the Flood (2009), is, in the author’s words, “the meanwhile” or the “simultaneal” to her 2003 Giller Prize winner, Oryx and Crake.
Other books include the 2000 Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Robber Bride; Cat’s Eye; The Handmaid’s Tale; The Penelopiad; and The Tent. Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.
Atwood’s appearance at Randolph-Macon College is sponsored by R-MC’s Department of English and The Washington Literary Society and was paid for by the Merrill Munyan Fund.
Founded in 1833, the Washington Literary Society is the oldest student organization at Randolph-Macon College. The society sponsors activities in literature and the arts, such as poetry readings, lectures, film viewings and discussions with visiting authors and poets. It promotes the arts on campus and publishes Stylus, the college’s literary magazine.
Literary societies flourished in the 19th century, but their influence declined in the first half of the century because of competition from Greek fraternities. In the 1940s, Merrill Munyan, a professor of history at Randolph-Macon, revived interest in the Washington Literary Society. At bi-monthly meetings held at his home, members discussed literary topics, read plays and had poetry readings. Professor Munyan even renovated his house to accommodate the society’s gatherings and its special guests. He also established the Merrill Munyan Fund to enable the college to bring to campus writers, poets, dramatists and critics to support interest in the literary arts.