Prolific novelist best known for penning ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

WILKES-BARRE — Margaret Atwood, best known for penning “The Handmaid’s Tale” among her 50-plus novels, will be the featured author of the Allan Hamilton Dickson Fund Spring Writers Series at Wilkes University, the school announced.

“A Conversation with Margaret Atwood,” hosted by the Wilkes English department, will be held 7 p.m. on April 26, including brief reading, question and answer session and book signing. Atwood will spend part of the day doing sessions with students before heading to the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center, 239 South River St., for the public appearance, which is free.

The event is expected to fill quickly and those who want to attend are urged to register online at

Atwood published her first novel, “The Edible Woman,” in 1969. Along with fiction, she has crafted non-fiction, poetry and children’s literature.

Her work “has been published in more than 40 languages and has garnered worldwide acclaim, recognized with the Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General’s Award, the PEN Pinter Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle,” a media release noted.

But 1985’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” has caught the public imagination in recent years, thanks to a TV series based on the book seen on the Hulu streaming service. Recently renewed for a fifth season, the dystopian tale of a postwar society that subjects fertile women to a form of child-bearing slavery has clearly struck a chord among many viewers, and has nabbed 54 Emmy nominations and 15 awards.

“The work’s follow-up novel, ‘The Testaments,’ sold out its initial half-million copy run, requiring two additional printings in just over a week and breaking first-day sales records for Penguin Random House titles that year,” according to the media release. Atwood’s other works have been or are being adapted to the screen, with Netflix running a limited series “Alias Grace,” and Hulu developing the “MaddAddam” trilogy, under development at Hulu.

Two additional writers for the Allan Hamilton Dickson Spring Writers Series will be announced at a later date.