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WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION FROM MARGARET ATWOOD

WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION FROM MARGARET ATWOOD

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like 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.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful vision of the future gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's irony, wit and astute perception.

Reviews

Compulsively readable

Daily Telegraph

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784873189

    May 22, 2017

    Vintage Classics

    336 pages

    RRP $19.99

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  • Paperback

    9781784871444

    October 3, 2016

    Vintage Children's Classics

    512 pages

    RRP $19.99

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  • Paperback

    9780099511663

    December 1, 2010

    Vintage Classics

    336 pages

    RRP $14.99

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  • The Handmaid's Tale
    Margaret Atwood

    Hardback

    9781841593012

    September 15, 2006

    Everyman

    392 pages

    RRP $29.99

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  • The Handmaid's Tale
    Margaret Atwood, Margaret Atwood

    Paperback

    9780099740919

    October 25, 1996

    Vintage

    320 pages

    RRP $19.99

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  • EBook

    9781473546967

    August 4, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    512 pages

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  • EBook

    9781446485477

    May 15, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    336 pages

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  • Hardback

    9781784708238

    October 30, 2017

    Vintage

    336 pages

    RRP $29.99

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Extract

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. The floor was of varnished wood, with stripes and circles painted on it, for the games that were formerly played there; the hoops for the basketball nets were still in place, though the nets were gone. A balcony ran around the room, for the spectators, and I thought I could smell, faintly like an afterimage, the pungent scent of sweat, shot through with the sweet taint of chewing gum and perfume from the watching girls, felt-skirted as I knew from pictures, later in mini-skirts, then pants, then in one earring, spiky green-streaked hair. Dances would have been held there; the music lingered, a palimpsest of unheard sound, style upon style, an undercurrent of drums, a forlorn wail, garlands made of tissue-paper flowers, cardboard devils, a revolving ball of mirrors, powdering the dancers with a snow of light.

There was old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name. I remember that yearning, for something that was always about to happen and was never the same as the hands that were on us there and then, in the small of the back, or out back, in the parking lot, or in the television room with the sound turned down and only the pictures flickering over lifting flesh.

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