The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Find in catalogI had not read this book since I was a teenager, and so I decided to revisit it after re-reading Orwell’s 1984.

What struck me most this time was Atwood’s skill at writing from within the minds of her characters, in such a way that you are almost able to articulate their next thoughts and feelings before they happen on the page.  The Handmaid’s Tale is a disturbing and poignant story of a dystopic (post-1970s) U.S. community in which women have lost all personal and political agency and autonomy and exist only to serve men, supposed for their own benefit and well-being. Atwood’s achronological narrative challenges the reader to keep up and to constantly reflect on the relationship between past, present, and a future yet to come.

I highly recommend (re)reading this book, particularly in order to consider how, despite the hyperbolic allegory, society today is not so far removed from the horrifying reality portrayed in the novel.


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