I do not only love this book because I am a woman. I don't only love it because its prescience astounds me. More than a seminal feminist work, it is a narrative of widespread oppression. It gives voice to any person deprived of personhood by the politics of sex. As bill after bill is brought before congress legislating the proper use of mine and others' bodies, I hand this book to you and ask that you read it with your future and your children's futures in mind. We live in extremely dangerous times. How will you live through them? When you cannot choose how to use your own body, how will you find agency?— Sarah
Now a Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss. The Handmaid's Tale is an instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from "the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction" (New York Times)
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.
Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of over fifty books, including fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning television series, her works include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; The MaddAddam Trilogy; The Heart Goes Last; Hag-Seed; The Testaments, which won the Booker Prize and was long-listed for the Giller Prize; and the poetry collection Dearly. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in Great Britain for her services to literature. She lives in Toronto.
“A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections between politics and sex . . . Just as the world of Orwell's 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood's handmaid!” —The Washington Post Book World “The Handmaid's Tale deserves the highest praise.” —San Francisco Chronicle “Atwood takes many trends which exist today and stretches them to their logical and chilling conclusions . . . An excellent novel about the directions our lives are taking . . . Read it while it's still allowed.” —Houston Chronicle “Splendid.”—Newsweek —