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Before The Testaments, there was The Handmaid’s Tale: an instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from “the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction” (New York Times).
The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.
The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.
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MARGARET ATWOOD is the author of more than forty works of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. She lives in Toronto.From the Back Cover:
Right-wing religious zealots have overthrown the United States government. America is now a fundamentalist police state where fertile young women known as Handmaids are forced to conceive children for the barren elite. Emma Campbell stars as Offred in this mesmerizing dramatization of Margaret Atwood's internationally best-selling novel. Assigned as an official breeder to the Commander (played by William B. Davis) and his jealous wife Serena Joy (Donna Goodhand), she mingles memories of her old life with dangerous thoughts of rebellion and love. Audacious and visionary, The Handmaid's Tale won the Governor General's Award for Fiction and was a runner-up for the Booker Prize.
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