Saturday, November 12, 2005

Margaret Atwood, Love, and Cereal Boxes

Yes. I can tie all these things together. Really.

On thursday of this week, I went to a reading by Margaret Atwood from her newest book, "The Penelopiad" sponsored by our local indie book store. (Newtonville Books) I love stories that take new perspectives on familiar mythic territory. Anita Diamant did this so well in "The Red Tent."

"The Penelopiad" takes the story of Odyssius through Penelope's lens. I haven't had a chance to read the book yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Atwood's reading from it.

After the reading, Ms. Atwood took questions from the audience and I asked her what advice she had for the aspiring novelist. She was gracious and funny, asking me first what the novelist aspired to (publication), then asking if I had written the book (yes). She talked about looking for an agent and the one thing she said that really struck me was to go with the agent that loved me. Not the agent that was the most successful, the most well known. That a begining agent was a good match for the begining author--they can grow in their careers together.

OK, we've connected Margaret Atwood and love. What about the cereal boxes??

Someone else asked her what we would be surprised to find out she read. She admitted to a weakness for magazines in airports and barring anything elso to read, the back of cereal boxes.

I smiled. Ahh, something in common with Margaret Atwood.

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