- 325 pages (April 1998)
In the world of the near future, who will control
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave
the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk
to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words
because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie
on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes
her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred
and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are
Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made
love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected
her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access
to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....
Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing,
The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire
warning, and tour de force.
February 9, 1986
By MARY McCARTHY
Surely the essential element of a cautionary tale is recognition.
Surprised recognition, even, enough to administer a shock. We are
warned, by seeing our present selves in a distorting mirror, of
what we may be turning into if current trends are allowed to continue.
That was the effect of ''Nineteen Eighty-Four,'' with its scary
dating, not 40 years ahead, maybe also of ''Brave New World'' and,
to some extent, of ''A Clockwork Orange.'' [read
Atwood Information Web Site - The author's personal site includes
biographical facts, awards, articles, transcripts, bibliography,
reviews, and links to other resources.
Atwood Society's Margaret Atwood Information Site - Includes
an overview of the Society and an extensive bibliography, as
well as links to other resources.
Rice's Margaret Atwood Site - Biography, awards, honorary
degrees, bibliography, and secondary criticisms.
Margaret Eleanor - Entry from The Canadian and World Encyclopedia.
Atwood - Review of 'Approaches to Teaching Atwood's The
Handmaid's Tale and Other Works'.
Poetry - Biography, poems, writing philosophy, and published
Books - Several newspaper articles.
Unofficial Shrine of Margaret Atwood - Brief biography,
bibliography, and review of Alias Grace.
the Wilderness: Margaret Atwood's Reading of Susanna Moodie
- Essay by Susan Johnston.
by Canadian Authors: Margaret Atwood - A brief profile and
bibliography from the B. Macabee's Booksellers website.
with Margaret Atwood - By Raymond H. Thompson in the series
'Thompson's Interviews with Authors of Modern Arthurian Literature'.
Atwood Discussion Forum - Post and read messages about Margaret
at a Glance - Reviews of several books.
Atwood: Once in August - Abstract of an hour-long video
about two film-makers' visit to Atwood's family retreat.
Guide's Honour - Review of Nathalie Cooke's 'Margaret Atwood:
- Margaret Atwood - An online community for book readers
and writers, including reading groups and message boards.