From Michelle Obama to April's Mom: 6 Inspiring Women for Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month, here are six of the women who have inspired us, personally and professionally -- from Michelle Obama to someone you've probably never met.
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Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood
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I’ve never been much good at writing long-form fiction, but if I was, I would want to write like Margaret Atwood. I am a strong believer in the power of stories to change the world, and Atwood’s prompt the sort of thought and discussion that have real promise in that respect—on top, of course, of being cracking good, can’t-put-it-down yarns.

Many point to Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale as one of the books that totally changed how they look at the world; but for me, it’s Oryx and Crake. Something about it really struck home—because when you stop to think about it, we’re not too far away from the world as it’s presented in Oryx and Crake, a prospect which I find absolutely terrifying. This is probably why I think and write a lot about celebrity culture, reality TV, and the like: It’s an attempt to make sense of how this sort of environment is affecting the way we deal with the world. And as long as we keep thinking about what we’re watching and reading and what have you—not just mindlessly consuming it—then perhaps we can stave off the beginning of the end. Why are we so endlessly fascinated by Jersey Shore? Why do we keep watching The Bachelor, knowing that the matches virtually never last? How long do we have before more questionable content starts appearing on live television?

Wishful thinking, perhaps, that we can hold off on sowing the seeds of our destruction by thinking about the greater implications of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills; but I have hope that continuing the dialogue will somehow make it all worthwhile in the end. And I have Atwood’s stories to thank for that.

Maddaddam, the third book to take place in the world of Oryx and Crake, comes out this summer. I know I’ll be reading it. Will you?


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