Margaret Atwood Quotes

Who is Margaret Atwood?

Margaret Eleanor Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor. Atwood is best known for her book The Handmaid's Tale which was made into a TV series.

Born November 18, 1939

Books by Margaret Atwood


Best 58 Quotes by Margaret Atwood | Page 1 of 2

“A word after a word after a word is power.”

“I don’t know whether there are any really pretty novels. All of the motives a human being may have, which are mixed, that’s the novelists’ material. We like to think of ourselves as really, really good people. But look in the mirror. Really look. Look at your own mixed motives. And then multiply that.”

“I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.”

“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.”

“If you’re put on a pedestal you’re supposed to behave like a pedestal type of person. Pedestals actually have a limited circumference. Not much room to move around.”

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

“Men often ask me, 'Why are your female characters so paranoid?' It’s not paranoia. It’s recognition of their situation.”

“Nobody dies from the lack of sex. It's lack of love we die from.”

“Nothing makes me more nervous than people who say, ‘It can’t happen here.’ Anything can happen anywhere, given the right circumstances.”

“Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality. I’m a realist.”

“People cry at weddings for the same reason they cry at happy endings: because they so desperately want to believe in something they know is not credible.”

“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”

“The Eskimo has fifty-names for snow because it is important to them; there ought to be as many for love.”

“War is what happens when language fails.”

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“We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.”

“When I was young I believed that nonfiction meant true. But you read a history written in, say, 1920 and a history of the same events written in 1995 and they’re very different. There may not be one Truth—there may be several truths—but saying that is not to say that reality doesn’t exist.”

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“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas


More quotes by Ursula K. Le Guin

“You know the myth: Everybody had to fit into Procrustes’ bed and if they didn’t, he either stretched them or cut off their feet. I’m not interested in cutting the feet off my characters or stretching them to make them fit my certain point of view.”

Alias Grace Quotes

“For if the world treats you well, Sir, you come to believe you are deserving of it.”

Alias Grace

“If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged.”

Alias Grace

Bluebeard's Egg Quotes

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

Bluebeard's Egg

Cat's Eye Quotes

“And yet it disturbs me to learn I have hurt someone unintentionally. I want all my hurts to be intentional.”

Cat's Eye

“Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”

Cat's Eye

“Forgiving men is so much easier than forgiving women.”

Cat's Eye

“I knew what love was supposed to be: obsession with undertones of nausea.”

Cat's Eye

“Knowing too much about other people puts you in their power, they have a claim on you, you are forced to understand their reasons for doing things and then you are weakened.”

Cat's Eye

“Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It's like the tide going out, revealing whatever's been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future.”

Cat's Eye

“Never pray for justice, because you might get some.”

Cat's Eye

“Potential has a shelf life.”

Cat's Eye

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Lady Oracle Quotes

“How could I be sleeping with this particular man? Surely only true love could justify my lack of taste.”

Lady Oracle

Moral Disorder Quotes

“In the end, we'll all become stories.”

Moral Disorder

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“May the odds be ever in your favor!”

The Hunger Games


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