Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"

Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"

Paperback Continuum Reader's Guides (Paperback)

By (author) Gina Wisker

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  • Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • Format: Paperback | 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 211mm x 13mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 5 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0826426018
  • ISBN 13: 9780826426017
  • Sales rank: 320,402

Product description

This is an up-to-date readers guide to Atwood's contemporary classic covering contexts, themes and criticism. Margaret Atwood's popular dystopian novel "A Handmaid's Tale", engages the reader with a broad range of issues relating to power, gender and religious politics. This guide provides an overview of the key critical debates and interpretations of the novel and encourages you to engage with key questions and readings in your reading of the text. It includes discussion of key themes and concepts including: representation of women's roles, gender, sexuality and power; language, style and form; dystopias and genre fictions; and, power, control and religious fundamentalism. Combining helpful guidance on reading Atwood's text with overviews of significant stylistic and thematic issues and an introduction to criticism, this is an ideal companion to reading and studying "A Handmaid's Tale". "Continuum Reader's Guides" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to key texts in literature and philosophy. Each book explores the themes, context, criticism and influence of key works, providing a practical introduction to close reading, guiding students towards a thorough understanding of the text. They provide an essential, up-to-date resource, ideal for undergraduate students.

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Author information

Gina Wisker is Head of the Centre for Learning and Teaching and Professor of Higher Education and Contemporary Literature at the University of Brighton where she teaches literature and manages educational development. Gina researches and writes on postcolonial, contemporary and genre fictions and specialises in contemporary women's writing.

Review quote

"Gina Wisker has created an admirably comprehensive, though attractively succinct, analysis of the key themes, and literary and political interests, of Atwood's acclaimed novel. Storytelling, different forms of narrative practice and the construction of history, are some of the many topics it treats that receive discussion in the Guide. Wisker perceptively investigates the 1980s context in which Atwood wrote the novel, while commenting knowledgeably on its socio-political importance to the present-day. She writes particularly powerfully about the feminist debates that it incorporates and examines Atwood's expose of the male control of women's bodies and her ambiguously complex description of female relationships. The representation of the characters who people the novel and the content of the individual chapters are both explored in a lively, accessible way. Wisker's decision to introduce questions for discussion is a particularly useful addition. All in all, the Guide provides an excellent commentary on Atwood's text."--Sanford Lakoff

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Quotations and Abbreviations; 1. Context; 2. Overview of Themes; 3. Reading The Handmaid's Tale; 4. Reception and Influence; 5. Guide to Further Reading; Index.