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Margaret Atwood: poet, novelist, blogger?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author with a book to promote will be in want of a blog. We just never suspected that the author in question would be Margaret Atwood.

It appears that the internationally renowned, Giller and Booker Prize-winning author has embraced digital media with all the enthusiasm of a hyperactive teenager. First, she appeared on Twitter. Now, she has launched a blog, which will apparently follow her publicity tour for her new novel, The Year of the Flood, which will be published by McClelland & Stewart in September.

And what does Atwood’s debut blog post feature? Giant phlox, of course:

Welcome to the beginning of the tour! This is the first post. Here is a picture of me in the garden with Giant phlox, before starting out. Will I shrink during the tour? Will I survive it?

Another post informs readers about Atwood’s upcoming trip to Edinburgh for the Aug. 30 U.K. launch of the novel, which will feature a “dramatic and musical event” performed in part by composer Orville Stoeber. (A similar Toronto event at The Cathedral Church of St. James is planned for Sept. 24.)

In the meantime, it looks like the author will be blogging up a storm. Can a cellphone novel be far behind?

  • Paul

    “It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author with a book to promote will be in want of a blog. We just never suspected that the author in question would be Margaret Atwood.”

    The phrase “in want of a blog” means lacking a blog but needing one. Atwood already has one.

  • http://www.baltimoresun.com/readstreet Nancy

    I think the point is that she decided she was “in want of a blog” since she has a new book coming out. (A very good book, by the way — I devoured it in a couple of days.) Since her first blog post specifically mentions the start of her book tour, I’d say the sentiment of the lead is right on.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more from her, as long as it’s not just one big press release.

  • Paul

    Since the lead paragraph means that all authors promoting books will not have blogs (but will need them), and Atwood is such an author, I don’t think the fact that she’s starting a book tour with a blog really fits the description.

  • @PDXsays

    “…Giller and Booker Prize-winning author has embraced digital media with all the enthusiasm of a hyperactive teenager.” teenagers – let alone hyperactive ones – are not those embracing – let alone enthusiastically embracing – digital media. The top-of-the-bell curve of users begin in the late twenties. d00de.

    “Can a cellphone novel be far behind?” Yes, in fact you will *never* see a cellphone novel. You can find lots and lots of poems, prose, and *novellas* on mobile devices. Designating a device a “phone” means it can be sued for phone calls, but possibly no ore. Thus, the more accurate term is mobile for generic, or iPhone or Blackberry, etc. when speaking of brands.

    I can’t recommend this blog to my @ followers on twitter. Yet. Take more journalistic responsibility for your facts and comprehension of the topic. I’ll be back then.

  • http://www.goodreports.net Alex Good

    Wow. Could we possibly get a bit more pedantry in this thread?

    Paul there’s nothing wrong with the lede (which, to be pedantic myself, is how I would spell it) here. All it says is that it’s the fashion these days for authors launching books to start a blog, and that Atwood is representative of this trend. The “truth universally acknowledged” part is an attempt at injecting a bit of wit into the proceedings.

    PDX: Get over yourself. And who wants to “sue” a phone call, or cares whether or not they have any “ore”? I take it your “followers” (all two of them on a good day) don’t care any more about spelling than they do about journalistic responsibility.

  • patricia
  • Von

    The posts on this blog sound as boring and irritating as an Atwood novel.

  • patricia

    Looks like Paul’s decided to join me on my high horse.

  • http://lemonhound.blogspot.com SQ

    I thought Canadians had a sense of humour?

  • Paul

    Alex Good says: “All it says is that it’s the fashion these days for authors launching books to start a blog, and that Atwood is representative of this trend”

    The phrase is, obviously, a play on the opening of Pride and Prejudice:

    “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

    If Austen had said that such a man, “on his first entering a neighbourhood” already had a wife, she wouldn’t have had much of a story. I suppose, though, the idea here is that Atwood needs a blog not in the sense of not having one, but of not being able to do without one (and an author with her fame probably can get along ok without a blog…).

  • http://www.eloquentbooks.com/GatewayToDreamWorld.html Brenda Estacio

    I am a new author hoping to someday be out there like you, hope to see you in London on September 3.

    I would love to get feedback from you on my new book, “Gateway to DreamWorld. Any marketing tips?

    Brenda

  • http://www.vestige.org August

    I nominate Paul for this week’s “Smart Dude Who Got the Reference But Missed the Point” award. Do I hear a second?

  • Jon

    MAtwood is such a contradiction; she’s so green and concerned about the environment but she’s traveling across the Atlantic and polluting the ocean. How about using the LONGPEN and scribbling your signature on whatever and not boring everyone with another mind-numbing book trip.

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