As contemporary author fan bases go, Margaret Atwood’s must be among the broadest. She is read at crèches, on university campuses, and in nursing homes. Feminists, birders, and would-be writers jostle to see her perform at literary festivals. Yet despite an Arthur C. Clarke Award and, in her own words, ‘three full-length fictions that nobody would ever class as sociological realism’, she has had a rather more rocky time of it with science fiction enthusiasts.
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