The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s TaleThe Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genres: Contemporary, Dystopian, Fiction
Pages: 324

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In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate 'Handmaids' under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed.
In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred's persistent memories of life in the 'time before' and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.


Everybody is talking about this book right now. Well, not the book – the TV show. So, I decided to read the book. I don’t know about you, but, I hate watching a show or movie before I have read the book it is based on.

Wow, just wow. You have to read this book. I am a huge fan of dystopian novels, but, this is a dystopian like no other. Most dystopian novels are rooted in science fiction. This has no science fiction aspects to it. And it is so relevant to the politics of today.

When I started reading this, I had no idea that it was written in 1986. In fact, that alone shocked me. Margaret Atwood is a genius…a genius. We are now living in a time when people are looking fondly at the times when oppression of different types of people was prevalent and saying that it is what God wants. She has taken old religious beliefs and made a new dystopian world. With the extremes that we are currently fighting over in politics, this could be our future.

I don’t want to give anything away. But, I highly recommend this book. The TV series is amazing, however, it changes the order of the book and even adds to the story. So, read the book first.


About Margaret Atwood

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; and her most recent, Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.


  1. Dana

    You make it sound much better than the commercials for the TV show, which I haven’t seen. I will have to check it out

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