Margaret Atwood’s bad reputation

For a review, reading the advance reader’s copy of Margaret Atwood’s new book, MaddAddamMaddAddam, the last in her futuristic dystopian trilogy, after Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood (which I reviewed here), I recalled my first Atwood review, of The Robber Bride, for USA Today.  I called the book review editor, Robert Wilson (that was when I used to call people) about submitting it, and he said, “Well . . ?”

I liked it, I said.  He said, “Damn.”  At my surprise, he explained that she was well known to be a bitch.  Sorry, I said.

Amused, I repeated this to a friend, who, to my surprise, had her own Margaret Atwood-as-meanie story.  This involved her father inviting the writer to speak at his college, where Atwood treated the man’s wife, my friend’s mother, to an imperious literary snub.

I’ve managed not to meet her.

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