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Throughout her career, Margaret Atwood has played with different literary genres in her novels--historical fiction (Alias Grace), pulp fiction (The Blind Assassin), the comedy of manners (The Robber Bride)--but no foray into genre fiction has been as successful as her turn to speculative fiction in The Handmaid's Tale. Published in 1985, it echoes Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World, but a vibrant feminism drives Atwood's portrait of a futuristic dystopia. In the Republic of Gilead, we see a world devastated by toxic chemicals and nuclear fallout and dominated by a repressive Christian fundamentalism. The birthrate has plunged, and most women can no longer bear children. Offred is one of Gilead's Handmaids, who as official breeders are among the chosen few who can still become pregnant.
The Handmaid's Tale is an imaginatively audacious novel that is at once a page-turning psychological thriller, a moving love story, and a chilling warning about what might be waiting for us around the corner. What ultimately makes it stand out is Atwood's ability to balance a passionate political statement with finely wrought literary fiction. The Handmaid's Tale is a remarkable work by one of Canada's most inventive writers. --Jeffrey Canton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In a startling departure from her previous novels ( Lady Oracle , Surfacing ), respected Canadian poet and novelist Atwood presents here a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-type ideals have been carried to extremes in the monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare: women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes: the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas; and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the "morally fit" Wives. The tale is told by Offred (read: "of Fred"), a Handmaid who recalls the past and tells how the chilling society came to be. This powerful, memorable novel is highly recommended for most libraries. BOMC featured alternate. Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A rather freighting dismal experience with regard to the situation in the Middle East. It is already happening there and I feel very uncomfortable with the possibility of it... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Janet Thibaudeau
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and can see why it is considered a classic. Although it has been categorized as futuristic-dystopian, I didn't find it too be at all depressing.Published 8 months ago by "Bomber"
It's a great book. I've read it over 10 times in the last 6 or 7 years!! A very hard book to put downPublished 11 months ago by belynda
This novel could not be more relevant in today's religious extremist political matrix. Read it and shudder. A brilliant work. A favorite author.Published 13 months ago by Implied Zero
Very well written, leaves you guessing at the end. Funny how improbable it all seems now.
Re-reading books that you read as an adolescent but now as an adult gives you a... Read more