The Handmaid's Tale
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates she will, like all dissenters, be hanged 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 whose future she will change forever.
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.
First published 1985.
Winner of Arthur C. Clarke Award 1987.
'Compulsively readable' --Daily Telegraph
"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
"Powerful...admirable" -- Robert Irwin Time Out
"Fiercely political and bleak, yet witting and wise...this novel seems ever more vital in the present day" --Observer
Margaret Atwood is Canada's most eminent novelist, poet and critic. Her books include The Edible Woman, Surfacing, Lady Oracle, Life Before Man, Bodily Harm, The Handmaid's Tale (winner of both the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and the Governor-General's Award, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made in a major film). Cat's Eye (also shortlisted for the Booker Prize) The Robber Bride and Alias Grace. Finally, The Blind Assassin won the Booker Prize in 2000. She lives in Toronto with the writer Graeme Gibson and their daughter.