Margaret Atwood, a University of Toronto alumna and author of critically acclaimed novel The Handmaid’s Tale, received the Companion of Honour on October 25 from Queen Elizabeth at a ceremony in Windsor Castle.

The Companion of Honour is awarded to those individuals who have made major contributions to the fields of arts, literature, science, medicine, or politics consistently over the years.

Upon meeting with the queen, Atwood admitted to feeling “a bit emotional,” CBC news reports.

Atwood has also received the Booker Prize alongside British author Bernadine Evaristo this past month. Over the years, she has won numerous awards and honours such as the Governor General’s Award, Franz Kafka Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the National Book Critics and PEN Centre USA Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Her novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, has been adapted into a TV series which has also received widespread critical acclaim.

Atwood graduated from U of T’s Victoria College, later returning to work as a writer in residence.

Before the publication of The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood started donating her personal writings, including manuscripts and personal letters, among other documents, to U of T’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Over the years, these donations have amounted to 600 boxes-worth of material.

Margaret Atwood will talk about her new book, The Testaments—the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale—on November 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bluma Appel Theatre at St. Lawrence Centre, Toronto. 

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