From Library Journal
In a startling departure from her previous novels ( Lady Oracle , Surfacing ), respected Canadian poet and novelist Atwood presents here a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-type ideals have been carried to extremes in the monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare: women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes: the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas; and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the "morally fit" Wives. The tale is told by Offred (read: "of Fred"), a Handmaid who recalls the past and tells how the chilling society came to be. This powerful, memorable novel is highly recommended for most libraries. BOMC featured alternate. Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Winner of the Governor General’s Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Finalist for the Booker Prize and the Ritz Paris Hemingway Award
“It deserves an honored place on the small shelf of cautionary tales that have entered modern folklore — a place next to, and by no means inferior to, Brave New World
— Publishers Weekly
“A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections of politics and sex. . . . Satisfying, disturbing and compelling.”
— Washington Post
"The most poetically satisfying and intense of all Atwood's novels."
"The Handmaid's Tale is in the honorable tradition of Brave New World
and other warnings of dystopia. It's imaginative even audacious, and conveys a chilling sense of fear and menace."
—The Globe and Mail
"The Handmaid's Tale
brings out the very best in Atwood--moral vision, biting humor, and a poet's imagination."