Honoring Margaret Atwood
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has awarded Margaret Atwood the Emerson-Thoreau Medal for her distinguished achievement in the field of literature. Over more than five decades, Atwood has written more than fifty works – including fiction, poetry, critical essays, nonfiction, children's books, and graphic novels – and has been published in more than forty-five countries and translated into dozens of languages. Her most recent novel, The Testaments, was a co-winner of the Booker Prize in 2019.
The Emerson-Thoreau Medal is awarded to an individual for overall literary achievement rather than for a specific work. Named for Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau – both of whom were members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences – the medal was first given to Robert Frost in 1958, and has since been presented to other notable authors such as T.S. Eliot, Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Toni Morrison. A complete list of all past winners is available here.
Following the presentation of the medal, Atwood gave brief remarks before joining fellow author Gish Jen for a conversation.
For more information about our honoree and the Medal, please see our press release.