The Handmaid's Tale
by Atwood, Margaret
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Harrogate, North Yorkshire
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About This Item
The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood in 1985. It depicts a totalitarian world known as Gilead, portraying the subjection of women in a patriarchal society. The near-future New England setting illustrates a bleak portrayal of the world after the United States is overthrown by a fundamentalist group. Society is reorganized by the regime using a peculiar interpretation of some Old Testament ideas, and a new militarized, hierarchical model of social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes. The novel follows the story of a young woman, Offred, who struggles to maintain her identity. It depicts the rebellion of the women in her social class as their ability to read, write, own property, or handle money are lost. Most significantly, women are deprived of control over their own reproductive functions. The Handmaid's Tale was nominated for the first-ever Man Booker International Prize representing the best writers in contemporary fiction. Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 35 internationally acclaimed works of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her numerous awards include the Governor General’s Award for The Handmaid’s Tale , and The Giller Prize and Italian Premio Mondello for Alias Grace . The Handmaid’s Tale , Cat’s Eye , Alias Grace , and Oryx and Crake were all shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, which she won with The Blind Assassin . She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has been awarded the Norwegian Order of Literary Merit and the French Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres among many others; she is a Foreign Honorary Member for Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in Toronto.
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