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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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The Handmaid's Tale (1985)

by Margaret Atwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
29,58083552 (4.11)1832
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    1984 by George Orwell (cflorente, norabelle414, Schwehnchen)
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    browner56: Two chilling, though extremely well written, reminders that liberty, freedom, and self-determination are not idle concepts.
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    krazy4katz: An upside down recommendation, as this is an "all-women" utopia rather than a dystopia, but a fun read.
  11. 110
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  12. 111
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (smiteme)
  13. 100
    When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: The Handmaid's Tale is the classic forerunner to dystopic fiction of sexist futures. When She Woke picks up the mantel with a more modern version of a misogynistic theocracy taking over government. Both show terrifying futures for the state of women in society.… (more)
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  16. 91
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  17. 91
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  18. 124
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    Kaelkivial: Both stories of strong women who resist (in one form or another) the system that holds them down. Both books fairly fast paced and gripping; acts of violence and loss scattered throughout.
  19. 70
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(see all 58 recommendations)

1980s (1)
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» See also 1832 mentions

English (800)  Spanish (8)  French (5)  Catalan (4)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (830)
Showing 1-5 of 800 (next | show all)
It was even better the second time, more terrifying. I love the clues dropped throughout, and the fact that paying close attention to what seems like small details could reveal Offred's real name. Phenomenal. ( )
  liannecollins | Apr 18, 2019 |
I whipped through it in one day in high school. Re-read it in my Future Dystopia class in university. It's so good. ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
A beautiful, distressing book. This book is unforgettable, it sticks with you and makes you think. It can be uncomfortable to read at times but it is so worth it. ( )
  queenofthebobs | Apr 16, 2019 |
We read this book for book club this past month. Lots to discuss. I really enjoyed it as the book spent a lot of time setting up Olfred's world, which is something I always appreciate in novels. The pace of the plot, however, was on the slow side. But I thought it worked well as that was the world she lived in. Truly her days consisted of very little because as a Handmaid her soul purpose in life was to be an incubator for a baby that she would then have to give away to the Commander and his wife. Therefore, most of the story consisted of memories of her life before she became a handmaid so we could glimpse how life changed for most women in the US. ( )
  christinegrabowski | Apr 1, 2019 |
read for a book club for 20-30 something year olds. Very fitting in this modern day of political turmoil. Scary how close it feels like we are getting to this some days. Read in conjunction while watching the Hulu Television series too. Craziness!
  EBassett | Mar 20, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 800 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, AnnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, FlorenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danes, ClaireNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, JoannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennati, CamilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

And she said, Behold my maid Bihah, go in unto her, and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
                              — Genesis 30:1-3
But as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal. . .
                              — Jonathan Swift,
A Modest Proposal
In the desert there is no sign that says, Thou shalt not eat stones.
                              — Sufi proverb
Dedication
For Mary Webster and Perry Miller
First words
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
Quotations
As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us from it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and, try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our own day.
Time has not stood still. It has washed over me, washed me away, as if I’m nothing more than a woman of sand, left by a careless child too near the water.
The shell of the egg is smooth but also grained; small pebbles of calcium are defined by the sunlight, like craters on the moon. It's a barren landscape, yet perfect; it's the sort of desert the saints went into, so their minds would not be distracted by profusions. I think that this is what God must look like: an egg. The life of the moon may not be on the surface, but inside.
But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Maybe none of this is about control... Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.
There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia, freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Reading Guide Edition is the substantial equivalent the main Handmaid's Tale work, with a few additional pages of questions for groups to consider at the back. Please therefore leave these works combined together. Thank you
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038549081X, Paperback)

In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:22 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.

» see all 20 descriptions

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