She assumed that, like all right-thinking girls, I would eventually have a home. She wasn’t up on the current dirt about female writers and did not know that these stern and dedicated creatures were supposed to forego all such comforts in favor of warped virginity, seedy loose living, or suicide.
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the author of such novels as The Handmaid’s Tale (1998) and The Year of the Flood(2009), holds forth on her childhood in Ottawa and Toronto. She recalls reading preferences that ranged from Jane Austen to Herman Melville to paperback romances, the day she decided to be a writer, and the costumes she wore throughout, all while exploring the relationship between brains and beauty in other people’s expectations of her as a female Canadian writer. This lecture was recorded in 2002, following the publication of Atwood’s book Negotiating the Dead: A Writer on Writing.