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The Handmaid's Tale Paperback – March 16, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 50,085 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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!" —The Washington Post Book World

"The Handmaid's Tale deserves the highest praise." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Atwood takes many trends which exist today and stretches them to their logical and chilling conclusions . . . An excellent novel about the directions our lives are taking . . . Read it while it's still allowed." —Houston Chronicle

"Splendid." —Newsweek

From the Inside Flap

In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; 1st Anchor Books edition (March 16, 1998)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 311 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 038549081X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0385490818
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 18 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 750L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.21 x 0.7 x 7.94 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 50,085 ratings

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About the author

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Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid's Tale, went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against the disempowerment of women, and with the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series. ‘Her sequel, The Testaments, was published in 2019. It was an instant international bestseller and won the Booker Prize.’

Atwood has won numerous awards including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Photo credit: Liam Sharp

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
50,085 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

CalenderGirl
5.0 out of 5 stars The Handmaid's Tale
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2018
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137 people found this helpful
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Mariya Georgieva
1.0 out of 5 stars Degrading to women
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2019
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107 people found this helpful
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JB
5.0 out of 5 stars Don’t expect a transcript of the TV program
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 29, 2018
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emmaclare1810
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterclass in dystopia
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2017
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Saz60
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2018
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