The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale : the book that inspired the hit TV series

4.12 (1,738,456 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.

'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford - her assigned name, Offred, means 'of Fred'. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.

Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction.

'A fantastic, chilling story. And so powerfully feminist', Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other.
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Vintage Classics

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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 21mm | 234g
  • Vintage Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Media tie-in
  • Media tie-in
  • 9781784873189
  • 2,580

Review Text

The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story
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Review quote

A fantastic, chilling story. And so powerfully feminist -- Bernadine Evaristo Compulsively readable * Daily Telegraph * The mother of all feminist dystopian novels * Red * The novel satirises the strain of evangelical puritanism in American culture and the objectification and control of women's bodies. It is more broadly a contemporary myth of despotic power, and how such power deforms those who are subjected to it * Observer * The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story -- Angela Carter Out of a narrative shadowed by terror, gleam sharp perceptions, brilliant intense images and sardonic wit -- Peter Kemp * Independent * Margaret Atwood is a wry and perceptive observer of society as well as an original storyteller * Psychologist * The images of brilliant emptiness are one of the most striking aspects of this novel about totalitarian blindness...the effect is chilling -- Linda Taylor * Sunday Times * Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception * Essence * It's hard to believe it is 25 years since it was first published, but its freshness, its anger and its disciplined, taut prose have grown more admirable in the intervening years... Atwood's novel was an ingenious enterprise that showed, with out hysteria, the real dangers to women of closing their eyes to patriarchal -- Lesley McDowell * Independent on Sunday *
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About Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid's Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and shared the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry for a decade.

Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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Rating details

1,738,456 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 43% (744,983)
4 35% (613,408)
3 15% (268,158)
2 4% (74,770)
1 2% (37,137)
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