RBS Main Theatre
30 August, 21.00

Margaret AtwoodDon’t be fooled by Margaret Atwood’s appearance. A head of tight, powder-grey curls, hands and feet demurely crossed, she looks sweet, though she avoids fragility, and looks as though she would offer you tea and talk sewing patterns and grandchildren.

But this is one irrepressible lady: she reads medical journals as a little light reading, writes a blog, and even Twitters for goodness sake! You might get a cup of tea from her but you had better have done your reading to keep up with her conversation!

This evening, Atwood opened her ambitiously extensive tour to promote her latest novel, The Year of the Flood, while also promoting the charity, the RSPB. Indeed, Atwood seems to multitask constantly. While many of Atwood’s publications were examined, the audience was also treated to a greater insight into this fascinating woman’s character, and through her, into the world around us: a truly great author, you see! We sit listening to talk on SAARS, avian flu, and the numerous epidemics that have followed the publication of Oryx and Crake, and why a future that seemed so distant then, has in its imminence, prompted her to writ e a sort of follow on: The Year of the Flood.

This woman is razor sharp: she knows her stuff and if nothing else, a marquee full of her readers will have gone home a little wiser and hopefully a little more conscious of their responsibility for the future of this planet. This may sound like heavy stuff but it wasn’t. Atwood, coaxed by questions from Jenny Brown, was full of charming anecdotes and droll humour. While dealing with questions about her writing, religion, gender, and the loaded question of hope, Atwood diffused many a complex subject with wit: such as her idea to genetically engineer sheep to help those afflicted with hair loss: “You could get it in any colour you like,” she nods earnestly!

An hour spent in this incredibly talented woman’s company renders her tremendous career completely unsurprising: it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving woman.

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