Pando

Margaret Atwood on writing, tech and why humanity isn’t as screwed as her novels suggest

By Sarah Lacy , written on July 7, 2016

From The Books Desk

We’ve always have a curveball of an interview at Pandoland.

A session that attendees might normally expect at a "tech" event but that wound up being a lot of people’s favorite. This year that session was unquestionablythe one starring novelist Margaret Atwood.

In a 40-minute or so conversation (full video below) we touched on Donald Trump, pigs growing human organs, Elon Musk, her comic book series, her own entrepreneurial efforts with the LongPen, why she loves Twitter, Silicon Valley’s quest for immortality, and why eReaders haven’t taken over how people read after all.

But more than any one anecdote, what I found the most inspiring was Atwood’s clear joy, playfulness, and genuine curiosity about the written word-- whether those words are Tweets, comic book panels, rethinking Shakespeare hundreds of years later, her words as applied to an upcoming HBO miniseries, or the words that anonymous teens write on their phones via WattPad.

People always ask Atwood how she’s so prolific: Watch this interview and you'll get it. She’s having so much fun dabbling with every medium, exploring every idea, pioneering new digital formats for reading and writing that she just can’t stop working.