The prizewinning author, poet, essayist and literary critic Margaret Atwood has been named as the first writer to contribute to Future Library. Future Library is a new public artwork by Scottish artist Katie Paterson that will unfold over the next 100 years in the city of Oslo, Norway.
Margaret Atwood has begun writing the first text that will be handed over at a special event held in May 2015. Commenting on being selected as the inaugural writer of this 100-year project, Atwood said:
‘I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.’
Every year from 2014 to 2114, Katie Paterson and the Future Library Trust, consisting of leading publishers, editors and others, will invite one writer to contribute a new text to a growing collection of unpublished, unread manuscripts. The City of Oslo has gifted Future Library a forest in Nordmarka just outside the city, where Paterson planted 1000 new trees in May 2014. It will be 100 years before the trees are cut down to provide the paper on which the texts will be printed as an anthology of books. Future Library exists now as a limited edition "certificate" print, which entitles the holder to a copy of the anthology in 2114. The print holds the promise of stories that will only be read beyond the owner's lifetime, while the forest shows the slow growth of the trees and the library, inch by inch, year by year. Paterson says:
‘It is my dream that Margaret Atwood is writing for Future Library. I imagine her words growing through the trees, an unseen energy, activated and materialized, the tree rings becoming chapters in a book.’
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