Margaret Eleanor Atwood (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Since 1961, she has published seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, ten books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children's books, and one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction. Atwood and her writing have won numerous awards and honors including the Man Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General's Award, Franz Kafka Prize, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards.
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She wasn't ready to settle down, she told her friends. That was one way of putting it. Another would have been that she had not found anyone to settle down with. There had been several men in her life, but they hadn't been convincing. They'd been somewhat like her table—quickly acquired, brightened up a little, but temporary. The time for that kind of thing was running out, however. She was tired of renting.