The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (1985)


Margaret Atwood wrote the dystopic The Handmaid’s Tale in the 1980s, after the first and second waves of the Women’s Movement. At that time, Conservatives were railing against Affirmative Action, against women working outside the home, against what was considered the “traditional family”. The Handmaid’s Tale is a social satire, wherein women are stripped of their rights, including the right to read. Radiation has left the Republic of Gilead (formerly the United States of America) with a negative population growth and very few fertile women, moving from a present day democratic state to a patriarchal theocracy. Told from the perspective of Offred, the narrative has holes, lapses, memories and imaginings, much as if the reader were interviewing a Handmaid of Gilead. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. 388 pages

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