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 17 books of poetry, 16 novels, 10 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 has won numerous awards and honors for her writing, 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.
Christ didn't say, "Love humanity as thyself," but, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," and do you know why? Because your neighbor, by definition, is the person nearby, the man sitting next to you in the underground who smells, perhaps, the man next to you in the queue who maybe tries to barge ahead of you; in short, your neighbor is the person who threatens your own liberty.
Songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else. It’s amazing how much can be conjured with a few notes of a song or a solitary whiff of a room. A song you didn’t even pay attention to at the time, a place that you didn’t even know had a particular smell.