The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
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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
READ THE TESTAMENTS, THE BOOKER PRIZE-WINNING SEQUEL TO THE HANDMAID'S TALE, TODAY
Margaret Atwood is Canada's most eminent novelist, poet and critic. Her books include The Edible Woman, Surfacing, Lady Oracle, Life Before Man, Bodily Harm, The Handmaid's Tale (winner of both the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and the Governor-General's Award, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made in a major film). Cat's Eye (also shortlisted for the Booker Prize) The Robber Bride and Alias Grace. Finally, The Blind Assassin won the Booker Prize in 2000.
"The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story" -- Angela Carter "Out of a narrative shadowed by terror, gleam sharp perceptions, brilliant intense images and sardonic wit" -- Peter Kemp Independent "The images of brilliant emptiness are one of the most striking aspects of this novel about totalitarian blindness...the effect is chilling" -- Linda Taylor Sunday Times "Powerful...admirable" -- Robert Irwin Time Out "Fiercely political and bleak, yet witting and wise...this novel seems ever more vital in the present day" Observer
Winner of Arthur C. Clarke Award 1987
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