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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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One of Belle de Jour's favourite books.

September 2010 Guest Editor Belle de Jour on Margaret Atwood...

Atwood’s books hugely influenced my reading style (though probably not my writing style!). I love the way she weaves research so seamlessly into her stories. In the hands of a lesser writer, some of her books might be mere dystopian sci-fi, but she makes the characters as real as documentary. The Handmaid’s Tale, in particular, influenced a lot how I think about politics, religion, and feminism.

If you like Margaret Atwood you might also like to read books by Evie Wyld, Iain Banks and J G Ballard.


The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one option: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like all 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. This is a brilliant and astutely perceived evocation of twenty-first-century America.

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'Moving, vivid and terrifying. I only hope it's not prophetic' - Conor Cruise O'Brien, The

'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

'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

About the Author

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

She is the author of more than twenty-five volumes of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman, The Handmaid's Tale, The Robber Bride and Alias Grace. Her novel, The Blind Assassin, won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000.

Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.

Author photo © George Whiteside

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Book Info

Publication date

4th August 2011


Margaret Atwood

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