The plaudits for Margaret Atwood continue to come her way. Awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka Prize and the PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, the visionary storyteller and dedicated social activist will be the 2018 laureate of the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship, it was announced Wednesday.
“We want to honour this remarkable citizen of Canada for all she has done in her personal and professional life to make us aware that we are citizens of a country like Canada and a planet that is our precious Earth,” former governor-general and prize namesake Adrienne Clarkson said in a press statement. “In her brilliant writing career and her personal activism locally, nationally, and internationally, she is a dynamic force in the world today.”
Established by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship in 2016, the international honour is awarded annually to a leader whose lifework has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the societal ideals of belonging, tolerance and respect. The two previous recipients were Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei (in 2017) and the Aga Khan (2016).
In addition to winning a bookcase full of literary awards over her career, Atwood, 78, has served in various capacities with several organizations, including PEN International and BirdLife International. With the recent small-screen serializations of her novels The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace, the Ottawa native is currently enjoying a late-career surge in popularity.
Earlier this year, Atwood and Clarkson publicly supported plans for a homeless shelter in Toronto’s affluent Annex area. The two are among the neighbourhood’s most well-known residents.
Atwood will be presented with her latest prize on Sept. 26 at the closing event of 6 Degrees Toronto, billed as a three-day conversation on citizenship and inclusion.