Another Reason to Like Margaret Atwood

I just read this wonderful tribute to Anne of Green Gables that Margaret Atwood wrote for The Guardian. I couldn’t pass up the chance to write about this, as I have loved the Avonlea books since I was a girl, and Atwood is one of my favorite authors as well.

The first Anne book is 100 years old this April, and aside from a new edition of the first book and a biography of L.M. Montgomery, Atwood warns us that there are sure to be more products and Anne-related tchotchkes than you can shake a stick at. I knew that Prince Edward Island had some touristy stuff about Anne, but I had no idea there was a musical, or raspberry cordial for sale, or carriage rides with a fake Matthew Cuthbert.

Call me naive, but I never imagined people wanting Anne products–the books have always stood alone in my mind, and any material goods related to them would just take away from my imaginative pictures of the stories. (The films with Megan Follows were wonderful, but the actors’ faces have now supplanted my own mental images of the characters. Luckily I’ve read the books enough times that it’s not such a problem.)

In the article, Atwood explains why Anne is so popular in Japan, what a real orphaned girl might have faced at that time, the dark underside of the Avonlea books, and who the real central character is in the Avonlea books.

I may have lost my XY-chromosome readers here (the Anne books are decidedly girl-oriented), but I’m counting the days until my daughter (and maybe even my son) can read these books and hopefully love them as much as I do.

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8 Comments

Filed under Books, movies

8 responses to “Another Reason to Like Margaret Atwood

  1. Oh, that is another reason to love Margaret Atwood. Off to read her article this instant!

  2. I’m looking forward to reading those books with my daughter as well. Have a great day.

  3. Margaret Atwood, yes! Anne of Green Gables…I think I’ll have to take the XY plea, though I do remember having a weakness for Louisa M Alcott when I was eight for some reason..

  4. Thank you… maybe, maybe, I can read this to the boys this summer at the lake. They did love Nancy Drew.

  5. Bex

    Love Anne!
    She is very popular over here, there is a whole anime series…Xxx

  6. Oh dear, where’s my other X chromosome… I couldn’t stand Anne of Green Gables! But I did read the books, and some of L. M. Montgomery’s other series. I am going to have to write my own tribute post to mark the 100 years, heh heh! “Anne and Me”. In Japan they call her Akage no Anne, which means Redhead Anne! The main reason I didn’t like her was that, as a kid, I was always being compared to her because of my red hair.

  7. Helen: That’s funny, because you have other things in common with Anne aside from hair color–you both are very imaginative, and love to read and write, for example. I just don’t get why people make a big (negative) deal of red hair–it’s so distinctive and special, it’s a good thing! I’ve always wanted red hair.

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