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.
“A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections between politics and sex...just as the world of Orwell’s 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood’s handmaid!” Washington Post Book World
"Margaret Atwood's novels tickle our deepest sexual and psychological fears. The Handmaid's Tale
is a sly and beautifully crafted story about the fate of an ordinary woman caught off guard by extraordinary events.... A compelling fable of our time." Glamour
"This visionary novel, in which God and Government are joined, and America is run as a Puritanical Theocracy, can be read as a companion volume to Orwell's 1984
--its verso, in fact. It gives you the same degree of chill, even as it suggests the varieties of tyrannical experience; it evokes the same kind of horror even as its mordant wit makes you smile." E. L. Doctorow