The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood ( is one of the finest living writers of English language fiction.

In an imagined dystopian future we are given 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.

This is fiction which is clearly alerting us to some of the danger signals in contemporary society. Our assumption is that social and ethical progress is irreversible. It is not. John Gray argues this point powerfully in his book Heresies (

There are many forces in the world working to pull human civilisation back to pre-Enlightenment forms of life. Atwood should unsettle you with her devastating irony and wit. This is fiction with depth.

324 pages in Vintage paperback.

ISBN 978-0099740919

Margaret Atwood

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