The Handmaid's Tale

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Apr 25, 2017 - Fiction - 320 pages
418 Reviews
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The Handmaid's Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

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User Review  - ToddSherman - LibraryThing

“I feel like cotton candy: sugar and air. Squeeze me and I’d turn into a small sickly damp wad of weeping pinky-red.” So much has been said and will continue to be said about the premise of this novel ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - krau0098 - LibraryThing

I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for quite awhile. I ended up enjoying it. The way things are revealed throughout is cleverly done. I also enjoyed the somewhat wandering story style that reflected ... Read full review

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About the author (2017)

Margaret Atwood was born on November 18, 1939 in Ottawa, Canada. She received a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1961 and an M.A. from Radcliff College in 1962. Her 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, Power Politics, Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Morning in the Buried House, the MaddAdam trilogy, and The Heart Goes Last. She has won numerous awards including the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, the Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin, the Giller Prize and the Premio Mondello for Alias Grace, and the Governor General's Award in 1966 for The Circle Game and in 1986 for The Handmaid's Tale, which also won the very first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987. She won the PEN Pinter prize in 2016 for her political activism. She was awarded the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize for the outstanding literary merit of her body of work.

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