The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

I’ve had at least one weird dream slightly related to this book since I finished it. Atwood defines this book as ‘speculative fiction’: it isn’t sci-fi because although it is futuristic, it is not outside the realms of possibility in terms of space and time.

An uncomfortable read, The Handmaid’s Tale is about one woman’s life in a totalitarian theocracy; she is part of the first generation to experience this way of life, but can remember how life was before. In the not so distant future, handmaids are given to men of the upper (ruling) class for procreational purposes. This book is very much about sexual freedom, violence, feminism, conservatism…

This is definitely a modern classic, the scariest part of it being that it isn’t so hard to imagine the events that would lead up to the creation of this kind of society.