Canada’s Virtual Book Tours Following Margaret Atwood’s Persuasion

By Toby Tunwase

There will be an online series to help Canada’s writers sell their books to the shut-in nation by Margaret Atwood. In discussion with Adrienne Clarkson, a fellow author and friend hosted by the National Arts Centre, Atwood’s image froze.

It was a conversation about upcoming books, and it was live on Facebook. Clarkson called out for her thinking it was something she said that made her freeze. Atwood later reappeared in another room that has a superior internet connection in her house.

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They continued to go through a list of books they haven’t seen for the most part, let alone read. They acknowledged that the books were by authors whose works they enjoy. They talked about a program Canada Performs, which was a program started by the art centre at the end of March 2020.

This program provides a paid venue for actors, comedians, musicians, and other performers during dark stages around the world. A donation initially funded this program from the Canadian subsidiary of Facebook. Their chat changed course into gardening and social distancing, among others.

Atwood developed a device known as LongPen sixteen years ago. It allowed authors to digitally capture handwriting and relay it to a robotic arm at a distant book-signing location. Although it didn’t launch, for a secure document system that has some of its technology, she’s a patent. She has a history of being married to book tours and technology.

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¬†Atwood’s decision to launch this virtual book stems from the headache to communicate during this global pandemic. She has 1.9 million Twitter followers as she is active on social media.

She asserted that the online effort made is not a perfect substitute for what people are looking for exactly. She believes people can still make do with it, and it will be of more significant help to them.