The Handmaid’s Tale
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.
Critics have heaped praise on Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. Daily Telegraph proclaimed that it was ‘compulsively readable’ while Peter Kemp from the Independent commended the novel’s ‘sharp perceptions, brilliant intense images and sardonic wit’. Angela Carter stated that Atwood’s tale is ‘both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story’ and Hannah Dunn from Red believed that the book ‘serves as a great reminder of what humanity is capable of’.