The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

the book that inspired the hit TV series and BBC Between the Covers Big Jubilee Read

Summary

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN THE COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

Discover the cultural phenomenon behind the award-winning TV series that feels all the more powerful and prescient in a post-Roe vs. Wade world.


'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian


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.

'A fantastic, chilling story. And so powerfully feminist', Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other.

Reviews

  • A fantastic, chilling story. And so powerfully feminist
    Bernadine Evaristo

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, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and shared the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry for a decade, and in 2022 Burning Questions, a collection of essays, was a Sunday Times bestseller.

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, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. 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.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more