Earlier this year the book returned to bestseller lists, which Atwood attributed in part to concerns about the election of President Trump. Most recently, the novel has been adapted into a part television series starring Elisabeth Moss, to be released by Hulu this month.
Others haunt the writer. It has sold millions of copies worldwide and has appeared in a bewildering number of translations and editions.
It has been expelled from high schools, and has inspired odd website blogs discussing its descriptions of the repression of women as if they were recipes. Revelers dress up as Handmaids on Halloween and also for protest marches—these two uses of its costumes mirroring its doubleness.
Is it entertainment or dire political prophecy? Can it be both? I did not anticipate any of this when I was writing the book. I chronicle the finding of puffballs, always a source of glee; dinner parties, with lists of those who attended and what was cooked; illnesses, my own and those of others; and the deaths of friends.
There are books read, speeches given, trips made. There are page counts; I had a habit of writing down the pages completed as a way of urging myself on. But there are no reflections at all about the actual composition or subject matter of the book itself. Perhaps that was because I thought I knew where it was going, and felt no need to interrogate myself.
Article continues after advertisement I recall that I was writing by hand, then transcribing with the aid of a typewriter, then scribbling on the typed pages, then giving these to a professional typist: I finished the book there; the first person to read it was fellow writer Valerie Martin, who was also there at that time.
From September 12, to June all is blank in my journal—there is nothing at all set down, not even a puffball—though by my page-count entries it seems I was writing at white-hot speed. On June 10 there is a cryptic entry: The book appeared in Canada in the fall of to baffled and some times anxious reviews—Could it happen here?
On November 16 I find another writerly whine: In the UK, which had had its Oliver Cromwell moment some centuries ago and was in no mood to repeat it, the reaction was along the lines of, Jolly good yarn.
What would be your cover story? It would not resemble any form of communism or socialism: It might use the name of democracy as an excuse for abolishing liberal democracy: They are functional rather than decorative. The deep foundation of the United States—so went my thinking—was not the comparatively recent 18th-century Enlightenment structures of the Republic, with their talk of equality and their separation of Church and State, but the heavy-handed theocracy of 17th-century Puritan New England—with its marked bias against women—which would need only the opportunity of a period of social chaos to reassert itself.
Like the original theocracy, this one would select a few passages from the Bible to justify its actions, and it would lean heavily towards the Old Testament, not towards the New. Since ruling classes always make sure they get the best and rarest of desirable goods and services, and as it is one of the axioms of the novel that fertility in the industrialized West has come under threat, the rare and desirable would include fertile women—always on the human wish list, one way or another—and reproductive control.
Who shall have babies, who shall claim and raise those babies, who shall be blamed if anything goes wrong with those babies?
These are questions with which human beings have busied themselves for a long time. There would be resistance to such a regime, and an underground, and even an underground railroad.Mar 10, · The immediate location of the book is Cambridge, Mass., home of Harvard University, now a leading liberal educational institution but once a Puritan theological seminary.
The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, originally published in It is set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian state resembling a theonomy, which has overthrown the United States government.
Author: Margaret Atwood. The Handmaid's Tale - In Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear a transcribed account of one womans posting ‘Offred’ in the Republic of Gilead.
A white, wide-brimmed bonnet and a red cloak have come to mean one thing: women’s oppression. Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale seared this image into our souls with its. In , Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, struck a chord with readers concerned about the conservative turn in US politics under President Ronald Reagan.
“A taut thriller, a psychological study, a play on words. A rich and complex book.” –New York Times “Atwood has peered behind the curtain into some of the darkest, most secret, yet oddly erotic corners of the mind, and the result is a fascinating, wonderfully written, and disturbing cautionary tale.”.