Honorary degree citation - Margaret Atwood
By: Wynne Francis, December 1979
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Ms. Margaret Atwood, eminent Canadian author. Ms. Atwood has published eight volumes of poetry, the most recent being Two-headed Poems (1978); she has written numerous articles and reviews, a book for children and a volume of short stories. Her novels include The Edible Woman, Surfacing, Lady Oracle and, most recently Life Before Man. Her work has been translated into eight languages: German, Norwegian, Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and Polish, and has won numerous medals, prizes and awards, including the Governor General's Award in 1966. Ms. Atwood was awarded the Order of Canada in 1973.
Educated at the Universities of Toronto and Harvard, Margaret Atwood has taught, or served as writer in residence at the Universities of British Columbia, Alberta, York, Toronto and Sir George Williams. She has also travelled widely; and wherever she or her books are known we can be sure that the image of Canada is enhanced. For Ms. Atwood has a proud, firm, unsentimental faith in this country. She has devoted not only her impressive creative talents but also much of her time and energy to promoting the worth of Canadian culture. Her frequent personal appearances, interviews, readings, as well as her many articles and reviews have all effectively raised the consciousness of Canadians, and others, regarding the uniqueness of the Canadian experience and its worth as recorded in our literature. Her most widely known and influential book on this topic is the stimulating text Survival: a Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature.
Mr. Chancellor, I am honoured to present to you on behalf of the University Senate, and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Ms. Margaret Atwood, that you may confer on her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.