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Sebald Lecture 2014

Atwood in Translationland

The 2014 Sebald Lecture was given by award-winning novelist Margaret Atwood at the British Library on 18 February.

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The lecture, entitled Atwood in Translationland, explores Margaret Atwood’s adventures with translations in 44 languages over 45 years. The event was introduced by Kristian Jensen, Head of Arts and Humanities at the British Library, and chaired by Naomi Alderman.

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest novel, MaddAddam is the follow-up to The Year of the Flood (2009) and her 2003 Giller Prize winner, Oryx and Crake. Other recent publications include The Door, a volume of poetry (2007), Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011).

Additional titles include the 2000 Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Penelopiad. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

The Sebald Lecture is given annually on an aspect of literature in translation and is named after WG Sebald who set up BCLT in 1989. ‘Max’ was a German writer who opted to live in the UK and continue writing in German. His novels and essays include The Rings of Saturn, Austerlitz, and On the Natural History of Destruction and established him as a leading writer of the 20th century.

Photo of Margaret Atwood by Jean Malek