The handmaid's tale

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin, 1986 - Fiction - 311 pages
41 Reviews
First published in 1985, The Handmaid's Tale is a novel of such power that the reader is unable to forget its images and its forecast. With more than two million copies in print, it is Margaret Atwood's most popular and compelling novel.Set in the near future, it describes life in what once was the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead. Reacting to social unrest, and a sharply declining birthrate, the new regime has reverted to -- even gone beyond -- the repressive tolerance of the original Puritans. Offred is a Handmaid who may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant because she is only valued as long as her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

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On the story telling end, the details were amazing. - Goodreads
Anti-utopian writing is an honorable genre. - Goodreads
But Atwood's writing from the beginning is so flawed. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sovranty - LibraryThing

With civil rights, in particular to this novel: women's rights, in a seemingly never-ending struggle, this story leads the reader into the future with a backslide in freedoms gained thus far in ... Read full review

Review: The Handmaid's Tale

User Review  - Emily May - Goodreads

There are only a small handful of books that have affected me in a REALLY personal way. In a way that I always try to put into words and always, ultimately, fail. I have read a lot of books over the ... Read full review

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About the author (1986)

Born November 18, 1939, in Ottawa, Canada, Margaret Atwood spent her early years in the northern Quebec wilderness. Settling in Toronto in 1946, she continued to spend summers in the northern woods. This experience provided much of the thematic material for her verse. She began her writing career as a poet, short story writer, cartoonist, and reviewer for her high school paper. She received a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1961 and an M.A. from Radcliff College in 1962. Atwood's first book of verse, Double Persephone, was published in 1961 and was awarded the E. J. Pratt Medal. She has published numerous books of poetry, novels, story collections, critical work, juvenile work, and radio and teleplays. Her works include The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970), Power Politics (1971), Cat's Eye (1986), The Robber Bride (1993), Morning in the Buried House (1995), and Alias Grace (1996). Many of her works focus on women's issues. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and fiction including the Prince of Asturias award for Literature, the Booker Prize, the Governor General's Award in 1966 for The Circle Game and in 1986 for The Handmaid's Tale, which also won the Arthur C. Clarke Award.