Review: Margaret Atwood and the Labour of Literary Celebrity

Margaret Atwood and the Labour of Literary CelebrityMargaret Atwood and the Labour of Literary Celebrity by Lorraine York
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fascinating read, not only on the account of Margaret Atwood’s professional experience and her expansions on how writers affect other trades within the publishing industry, but also on the concept – in general – of literary celebrity. I think many recognize that when writers make names for themselves in the industry, they become figures that are like “celebrities” in other measures of the entertainment world – like actors, directors, etc. This book was an academic examination on how many people play a part of a writer’s literary celebrity – like pieces of a larger pie – especially when they’re at a point like Atwood in their careers where they may have agents or PR representation. It’s a larger web of connections to be had. It’s specific to Atwood’s connections and how they’ve played a part in her directive over the years. It’s a thorough examination, especially interesting in how it goes into Atwood’s history and even how some of her experiences have colored her works over time. I particularly enjoyed it because I’m familiar with Atwood’s work as well as her assertions, and this gave me more insight on the author and her network. It also gave me insights to consider on the evolving publishing industry.

I think those who are familiar with Margaret Atwood and are curious to see some insights about her and her professional team would get the most out of this book, but it’s just as well an eye-opening read on the concept of literary celebrity and what it entails in the writing world, and I thought it was well worth the read on those counts.

Overall score: 4/5 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher University of Toronto Press.

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