The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

Summary

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **

Discover the dystopian novel that started a phenomenon before you read the Booker Prize-winning sequel The Testaments

NOW AN AWARD-WINNING TV SERIES STARRING ELISABETH MOSS

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’ Bernadine Evaristo, author of GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER

‘This novel seems ever more vital in the present day’ Observer

Includes exclusive content: In The 'Backstory' you can read Margaret Atwood's account of how she came to write this landmark dystopian novel.

Reviews

  • A fantastic, chilling story. And so powerfully feminist
    Bernadine Evaristo, author of GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER

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.
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