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A collection of quotes by Margaret Attwood on age, animals, books, childhood, climate change, democracy, greed, humanity, inspiration, ignorance, literature, life, soul, technology, war, time, truth, writing etc.

227 Powerful Quotes By Margaret Atwood That Will Enlighten You

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Famous As
Writer, Environmental Activist

Born On
18 November 1939 AD

Born In
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Age
77

Margaret Atwood is a celebrated Canadian poet, essayist, novelist and environmental activist. She has a wide range of credentials in technical field, but she is known for her work in literature. A majority of her work is inspired by fairy tales and myths from her childhood. She is the winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke and Prince of Asturias award for Literature. She was also inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and nominated for the Booker’s Prize five times, eventually winning it once. Margaret Atwood has often portrayed female characters being suppressed due to patriarchy. Her writings press for the need of women empowerment in the face of prevalent gender bias. She is an ardent supporter of speculative fiction which she believes is different from the science fiction due to its realism. We have curated Margaret Atwood’s quotes from her writings, thoughts, observations, and general life. A collection of quotes by Margaret Attwood on age, animals, books, childhood, climate change, democracy, greed, humanity, inspiration, ignorance, literature, life, soul, technology, war, time, truth, writing etc.

People use technology only to mean digital technology. Technology is actually everything we make.

- Margaret Atwood

The problem with meditating is I generally go to sleep, and that's because I'm doing it wrong.

- Margaret Atwood

Younger people have greatest fears. Why is that? Because they don't know the plot. They don't know their own individual plot... they don't know what's going to happen to them.

- Margaret Atwood

The darkness is really out there. It's not something that's in my head, just. It's in my work because it's in the world.

- Margaret Atwood

A reader can never tell if it's a real thimble or an imaginary thimble, because by the time you're reading it, they're the same. It's a thimble. It's in the book.

- Margaret Atwood

Like many modern poets, I tend to conceal rhymes by placing them in the middle of lines, and to avoid immediate alliteration and assonance in favor of echoes placed later in the poems.

- Margaret Atwood

There would be no Sherlock Holmes if it were not for serial publication.

- Margaret Atwood

I particularly like Twitter, because it's short and can be very funny and informative. It's a little bit like having your own radio program.

- Margaret Atwood

You can examine the whole 19th century from the point of view of who would have maxed out their credit cards. Emma Bovary would have maxed hers out. No question. Mr. Scrooge would not have. He would have snipped his up.

- Margaret Atwood

Science and fiction both begin with similar questions: What if? Why? How does it all work? But they focus on different areas of life on earth.

- Margaret Atwood

Some bioengineering is good, especially if it results in plants that are more drought-resistant or perennial food crops.

- Margaret Atwood

Once upon a time, novelists of the 19th century, such as Charles Dickens, published in serial form.

- Margaret Atwood

'1984' is not a wonder tale. Not only could it happen, but it has happened, but under different names.

- Margaret Atwood

Science never makes things that do not have to do with what we feel, by which I mean what we want and what we fear.

- Margaret Atwood

You hear doom and gloom about the Internet ruining young people's command of English - that's nonsense.

- Margaret Atwood

There is good and mediocre writing within every genre.

- Margaret Atwood

Writers and books are cheap dates, especially when you compare the cost of a book with a ticket to the opera - or an NHL game.

- Margaret Atwood

I spent much of my childhood in northern Quebec, and often there was no radio, no television - there wasn't a lot to entertain us. When it rained, I stayed inside reading, writing, drawing.

- Margaret Atwood

Some of our earliest writing, in cuneiform, was about who owes what.

- Margaret Atwood

The myth that everyone once read great literature is just a myth.

- Margaret Atwood

Debt is part of the human condition. Civilization is based on exchanges - on gifts, trades, loans - and the revenges and insults that come when they are not paid back.

- Margaret Atwood

Within one's own family, money is not the measure of things, unless the person is an absolute Scrooge. Only the most extreme kind of monster would put a price on everything.

- Margaret Atwood

When you're writing a novel, you don't want the reader to come out of it voting yes or no to some question. Life is more complicated than that. Reality simply consists of different points of view.

- Margaret Atwood

You quickly find, when you are a hand-reader as I am, that nothing interests people so much as themselves.

- Margaret Atwood

Before the Civil War, Canada was at the top of the underground railroad. If you made it into Canada, you were safe unless someone came and hauled you back. That was also true during the Vietnam War for draft resisters.

- Margaret Atwood

Science fiction is filled with Martians and space travel to other planets, and things like that.

- Margaret Atwood

I'm from the generation that had the boys' door and the girls' door when you went to school, and you got in big trouble if you went in the wrong one.

- Margaret Atwood

I've never bought into any sort of hard and fast, this-box/that-box characterization. People are individuals. Yes, they may be expected to be a particular way. But that doesn't mean they're going to be that way.

- Margaret Atwood

I didn't go to school for a full year until I was 12. In the summer I was a wild child in the woods, with no shoes, and in the fall it was back to the city, shoe shops and school.

- Margaret Atwood

If one of the arguments against eating meat is to do with cruelty and animal intelligence, then lab meat avoids that. There's also the environmental argument for it.

- Margaret Atwood

Victorian literature was my subject at Harvard.

- Margaret Atwood

I learned to read very early so I could read the comics, which I then started to draw.

- Margaret Atwood

Canada is a balloon-puncturing country. You are not really allowed to be an icon unless you also make an idiot of yourself.

- Margaret Atwood

I have a big following among the biogeeks of this world. Nobody ever puts them in books.

- Margaret Atwood

I grew up with the biologists. I know how they think.

- Margaret Atwood

I grew up in the golden age of Flash Gordon and sci-fi.

- Margaret Atwood

I'm bad at picking heroes.

- Margaret Atwood

I'm the only person you've ever met who has read Longfellow.

- Margaret Atwood

We shouldn't be saying 'Save the planet'; we should be saying: 'Save viable conditions in which people can live.' That's what we're dealing with here.

- Margaret Atwood

Reading and writing are connected. I learned to read very early so I could read the comics, which I then started to draw.

- Margaret Atwood

Our generation in the west was lucky: we had readymade gateways. We had books, paper, teachers, schools and libraries. But many in the world lack these luxuries. How do you practice without such tryout venues?

- Margaret Atwood

I tend to feel if people say they're going to do something, they will, if given the chance.

- Margaret Atwood

As an artist your first loyalty is to your art. Unless this is the case, you're going to be a second-rate artist.

- Margaret Atwood

I'm not interested in cutting the feet off my characters or stretching them to make them fit my certain political view.

- Margaret Atwood

All fat women look the same; they all look 42.

- Margaret Atwood

The story as told in The Odyssey doesn't hold water. There are too many inconsistencies.

- Margaret Atwood

You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer.

- Margaret Atwood

A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.

- Margaret Atwood

Popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself.

- Margaret Atwood

Because I am a mother, I am capable of being shocked: as I never was when I was not one.

- Margaret Atwood

I began writing at the age of 5, but there was a dark period between the ages of 8 and 16 when I didn't write. I started again at 16 and have no idea why, but it was suddenly the only thing I wanted to do.

- Margaret Atwood

My brother and I were both good at science, and we were both good at English literature. Either one of us could have gone either way.

- Margaret Atwood

Science is a tool, and we invent tools to do things we want. It's a question of how those tools are used by people.

- Margaret Atwood

When I am writing fiction, I believe I am much better organized, more methodical - one has to be when writing a novel. Writing poetry is a state of free float.

- Margaret Atwood

Sooner or later, I hate to break it to you, you're gonna die, so how do you fill in the space between here and there? It's yours. Seize your space.

- Margaret Atwood

As soon as you have a language that has a past tense and a future tense you're going to say, 'Where did we come from, what happens next?' The ability to remember the past helps us plan the future.

- Margaret Atwood

Time is compressed like the fist I close on my knee... I hold inside it the clues and solutions and the power for what I must do now.

- Margaret Atwood

For years I wanted to be older, and now I am.

- Margaret Atwood

This above all, to refuse to be a victim.

- Margaret Atwood

Their mothers had finally caught up to them and been proven right. There were consequences after all but they were the consequences to things you didn't even know you'd done.

- Margaret Atwood

If you're waiting for the perfect moment, you'll never write a thing because it will never arrive. I have no routine. I have no foolproof anything. There's nothing foolproof.

- Margaret Atwood

There's a difference between describing and evoking something. You can describe something and be quite clinical about it. To evoke it, you call it up in the reader. That's what writers do when they're good.

- Margaret Atwood

Myths can't be translated as they did in their ancient soil. We can only find our own meaning in our own time.

- Margaret Atwood

Once you publish a book, it is out of your control. You cannot dictate how people read it.

- Margaret Atwood

When things are really dismal, you can laugh, or you can cave in completely.

- Margaret Atwood

Speculative fiction encompasses that which we could actually do. Sci-fi is that which we're probably not going to see.

- Margaret Atwood

If social stability goes pear-shaped, you have a choice between anarchy and dictatorship. Most people will opt for more security, even if they have to give up some personal freedom.

- Margaret Atwood

I was warped early by Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe. I was very fond of Franz Kafka.

- Margaret Atwood

Genres aren't closed boxes. Stuff flows back and forth across the borders all the time.

- Margaret Atwood

The threat to the planet is us. It's actually not a threat to the planet - it's a threat to us.

- Margaret Atwood

The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.

- Margaret Atwood

I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own.

- Margaret Atwood

If I were going to convert to any religion I would probably choose Catholicism because it at least has female saints and the Virgin Mary.

- Margaret Atwood

A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there's less of you.

- Margaret Atwood

If you're put on a pedestal, you're supposed to behave yourself like a pedestal type of person. Pedestals actually have a limited circumference. Not much room to move around.

- Margaret Atwood

Canada was built on dead beavers.

- Margaret Atwood

The beginning of Canadian cultural nationalism was not 'Am I really that oppressed?' but 'Am I really that boring?'

- Margaret Atwood

If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia.

- Margaret Atwood

If I waited for perfection... I would never write a word.

- Margaret Atwood

I hate to tell you this, but you will never actually go to a galaxy far, far away and encounter Darth Vader. That's science fiction; it isn't going to happen.

- Margaret Atwood

An eye for an eye only leads to more blindness.

- Margaret Atwood

I'm a person of whim, and easily distracted. I don't like multitasking. When I'm doing one thing, I like to do just that thing.

- Margaret Atwood

Social media is called social media for a reason. It lends itself to sharing rather than horn-tooting.

- Margaret Atwood

Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality. I'm a realist.

- Margaret Atwood

When I was 16, I started publishing all kinds of things in school magazines.

- Margaret Atwood

There may not be one Truth - there may be several truths - but saying that is not to say that reality doesn't exist.

- Margaret Atwood

The society in 'The Handmaid's Tale' is a throwback to the early Puritans whom I studied extensively at Harvard under Perry Miller, to whom the book is dedicated.

- Margaret Atwood

Every utopia - let's just stick with the literary ones - faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don't fit in?

- Margaret Atwood

Science fiction, to me, has not only things that wouldn't happen, but other planets.

- Margaret Atwood

Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

- Margaret Atwood

Gardening is not a rational act.

- Margaret Atwood

The thing about delirium is you think it's great, but it actually isn't.

- Margaret Atwood

You're never going to kill storytelling, because it's built into the human plan. We come with it.

- Margaret Atwood

Some people mistakenly think nature is very nice and benevolent and never betrays.

- Margaret Atwood

Every aspect of human technology has a dark side, including the bow and arrow.

- Margaret Atwood

Reality simply consists of different points of view.

- Margaret Atwood

Our problem right now is that we're so specialized that if the lights go out, there are a huge number of people who are not going to know what to do. But within every dystopia there's a little utopia.

- Margaret Atwood

Heroes need monsters to establish their heroic credentials. You need something scary to overcome.

- Margaret Atwood

I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one 'race' - the human race - and that we are all members of it.

- Margaret Atwood

A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.

- Margaret Atwood