Margaret Atwood, 76, is the author of more than 40 books of poetry and fiction, including “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and she has won Britain’s Man Booker Prize. Her latest novel is “The Heart Goes Last” (Anchor). She spoke with Marc Myers.
Part of my childhood was spent in the Canadian wilderness. My father was a forest entomologist for the government and studied the impact of insects on trees. When Canada entered World War II in 1939, forests became crucial to the effort, since the war required an enormous amount of paper.
Each year, in the spring, my parents would take my older brother, Harold, and me up to northern Canada so my father, Carl, could monitor large tracts of forest and do his research on forest insects. When infestations broke out, the result was thousands of dead trees. When trees die, you have to cut them up right away or they’ll be useless. Dead trees also are fire hazards. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.