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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale (original 1985; edition 1998)

by Margaret Atwood (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
39,627108945 (4.1)1 / 2154
This 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.
Title:The Handmaid's Tale
Authors:Margaret Atwood (Author)
Info:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (1998), Edition: 1st Anchor Books, 311 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)

  1. 778
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (cflorente, norabelle414, Schwehnchen)
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    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (readerbabe1984, rosylibrarian, ateolf, browner56)
    browner56: Two chilling, though extremely well written, reminders that liberty, freedom, and self-determination are not idle concepts.
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  7. 171
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (smiteme)
  8. 259
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (cflorente)
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    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (wosret)
  10. 130
    Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: An upside down recommendation, as this is an "all-women" utopia rather than a dystopia, but a fun read.
  11. 110
    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)
  12. 110
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  14. 111
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  15. 112
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  16. 91
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  17. 124
    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (wosret, Kaelkivial)
    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.
  18. 92
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  19. 70
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  20. 92
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(see all 65 recommendations)

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» See also 2154 mentions

English (1,034)  Spanish (15)  French (7)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (5)  German (4)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (3)  Italian (2)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Arabic (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (1,083)
Showing 1-5 of 1034 (next | show all)

A very detailed, yet white-washed analysis on a dystopian (yet realistic) look at a future where women (specifically fertile ones) are made property (again). This was very well-written and the premise was very interesting, but I found myself losing interest in some parts. ( )
  michx3lla | May 17, 2023 |
"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood is a gripping and thought-provoking novel that explores the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of women's rights and freedoms. Set in a dystopian future, the story is told through the eyes of Offred, a Handmaid whose only purpose is to bear children for her assigned Commander and his wife.

Atwood does an incredible job of creating a society that is both terrifyingly plausible and utterly horrifying. The oppressive regime that rules over Offred and her fellow Handmaids is chilling in its efficiency and ruthlessness, and it's easy to see how such a society could come into being.

But even more than that, "The Handmaid's Tale" is a powerful commentary on the importance of women's rights and freedoms. Through Offred's experiences, we see how the loss of these basic rights can be physically and emotionally devastating. Atwood's portrayal of the female body as a commodity to be used and controlled by men is particularly powerful, and serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing fight for gender equality.

Overall, "The Handmaid's Tale" is a must-read for anyone interested in dystopian fiction or feminist literature. It's a challenging and thought-provoking book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it. Highly recommended! ( )
  k8zavie | May 13, 2023 |
Beautifully written, and one of the most harrowing novels I've ever read. ( )
  jeddak | May 6, 2023 |
Science fiction
  GHA.Library | May 3, 2023 |
3.5 thought provoking and honestly terrifying but is freckin' slow and takes a lot of paragraphs to describe useless things so I kinda skimmed in these ones . The plot picked up in the end but it took a lot of time to be interesting. ( )
  Jessicaby234 | Apr 30, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 1034 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (31 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
Martin, ValerieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moss, ElisabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennati, CamilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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
For Mary Webster and Perry Miller
First words
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
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.
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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)

This 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.

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Book description
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.
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Average: (4.1)
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