The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Utterly compelling and terrifyingly real, The Handmaid’s Tale is a classic work of feminist fiction and a vivid dystopia that speaks afresh to every new generation of readers.
A chair, a table, a lamp. Above, on the white ceiling, a relief ornament in the shape of a wreath, and in the centre of it a blank space, plastered over, like the place in a face where the eye has been taken out. There must have been a chandelier, once. They’ve removed anything you could tie a rope to.
Offred lives in The Republic of Gilead. To some, it is a utopian vision of the future, a place of safety, a place where everyone has a purpose, a function. But The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed.
If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
Brilliantly conceived and executed, The Handmaid’s Tale is a bold evocation of twenty-first century America that gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.
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