Margaret Atwood addresses packed Bama TheaterBy David Williams III | 11/15/2017 7:48am
Author Margaret Atwood, known best for her dystopian fiction novels, brought a night of laughter and insight to a sold-out crowd in the Bama Theater. The event, “An Evening with Margaret Atwood,” focused on the multiple books she has written, such as The Handmaid’s Tale, and the stories behind them.
Atwood, a professor at the University of Alabama in 1985, said that she finished up her manuscript for The Handmaid’s Tale in Tuscaloosa. She said that though she started it in West Germany, she finished up the book and first showed it to a fellow professor at the University. The novel had a Hulu series based upon it released earlier this year, which she starred in, playing the aunt of the main character.
“I was here in ’85 and it is interesting to see how the city has changed over time,” Atwood said.
Atwood, who is also known for her active Twitter account, briefly mentioned politics. Though her stories focus on negative predictions of how the future may unfold, she said she believes in the resilience of the people of the United States. With the release of the Hulu series, she said she was scarred with the current American political situation. She encouraged the audience to help start digging America out of the hole it’s in, and go out and vote.
Jessica Lawrence, an Alabama alumna and AP Literature teacher in Arab, Alabama, drove two and a half hours to hear Atwood speak, but she said it was worth it. During her time at the University, Lawrence was involved in the Blount Undergraduate Initiative where she first read The Handmaid’s Tale. She said that getting to see it come full circle and getting to hear from Atwood was extremely exciting.
Faith Bonitz, a junior human development major, said enjoyed learning more about Atwood’s connection to her work.
“The fact that she wrote it so long ago and keeps up with its relevance shows how much she cares about the issues she talks about," Bonitz said.
After the event ended, Atwood stayed for nearly two hours to ensure that those who wanted a book signed got the opportunity. The organizers of the event said that their goal was for "Margaret to get to be Margaret," and they believed they succeeded. They were also surprised at the enthusiasm of the audience, and how many people attended.