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  • Published: 15 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446485477
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

The Handmaid's Tale




The bestselling dystopian classic that became a cultural phenomenon and inspired an award-winning TV series

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **Discover the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series before you read the Booker Prize-winning sequel The Testaments

'I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.'

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford - her assigned name, Offred, means 'of Fred'. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.

Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction.'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it.no television event has hit such a nerve .' GuardianREAD THE TESTAMENTS, THE BOOKER PRIZE-WINNING SEQUEL TO THE HANDMAID'S TALE, TODAY

  • Published: 15 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446485477
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the author

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid's Tale, went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against the disempowerment of women, and with the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series. Its sequel, The Testaments, was published in 2019 and was a global number one bestseller and won the Booker Prize.

Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

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Praise for The Handmaid's Tale

A fantastic, chilling story. And so powerfully feminist

Bernadine Evaristo, author of GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER

Compulsively readable

Daily Telegraph

The mother of all feminist dystopian novels.

Sarra Manning, Red

The novel satirises the strain of evangelical puritanism in American culture and the objectification and control of women’s bodies. It is more broadly a contemporary myth of despotic power, and how such power deforms those who are subjected to it.

Tim Adams, Observer

One of Atwood’s finest pieces of work serves as a great reminder of what humanity is capable of.

Hannah Dunn, Red

Margaret Atwood is a wry and perceptive observer of society as well as an original storyteller

Cecilia Heyes, Psychologist

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

Essence

This is a novel pervaded by violence, sex, terror, but also by contemplation, analysis and – occasionally – by hope… Atwood shockingly reveals what we could be capable of.

Elly McCausland, Cherwell Newspaper

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The Handmaid’s Tale audiobook read by Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss, star of the hit TV show The Handmaid’s Tale, has narrated the audiobook edition of Margaret Atwood’s classic novel. 

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The Handmaid's Tale book club notes

Discover the dystopian novel that started a phenomenon.

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