The event was part of the The Year of the Flood Project to coincide with the release of her latest book. The program included readings and acting, as well as some of the writing set to music. Each event uses local talent. They are given the readings and the music and told to interpret it in any way that they choose. At the end, Atwood answered audience questions and signed copies of her books. She said she isn't sure what type of material she will write next, discussed the importance of being aware of what we are doing to the environment and made a lot of jokes about being from Canada. You can read Atwood's review of the event that she posted on her blog here.
The event itself was really interesting. The actors and musicians (students and professors from GW) did a wonderful job with interpreting the pieces. Atwood herself is a small, snarky, funny, inspiring and interesting woman. I have waited over ten years to get the chance to hear her read and meet her.
Atwood was on my short list of people I need to meet before I die. (Now that I've knocked off Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows, Elie Wiesel and Atwood, I just need to track down Salman Rushdie.) I left the event feeling inspired, thankful and really wanting to get back in touch with the English major/writing/editing side of myself that I have let go in recent years.