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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale Hardcover - 2017

by Margaret Atwood


About this book

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood in 1985. It depicts a totalitarian world known as Gilead, portraying the subjection of women in a patriarchal society. The near-future New England setting illustrates a bleak portrayal of the world after the United States is overthrown by a fundamentalist group. Society is reorganized by the regime using a peculiar interpretation of some Old Testament ideas, and a new militarized, hierarchical model of social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes. The novel follows the story of a young woman, Offred, who struggles to maintain her identity. It depicts the rebellion of the women in her social class as their ability to read, write, own property, or handle money are lost. Most significantly, women are deprived of control over their own reproductive functions.

The Handmaid's Tale was nominated for the first-ever Man Booker International Prize representing the best writers in contemporary fiction.

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 35 internationally acclaimed works of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her numerous awards include the Governor General’s Award for The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Giller Prize and Italian Premio Mondello for Alias Grace. The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, and Oryx and Crake were all shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, which she won with The Blind Assassin. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has been awarded the Norwegian Order of Literary Merit and the French Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres among many others; she is a Foreign Honorary Member for Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in Toronto.

First Edition Identification

McClelland and Stewart published a 1st edition of The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, as a hardcover in Toronto, Canada. A true first printing includes "Set in the near future in a locale resembling Cambridge Massachusetts, this work describes life in what was once the United States - A Clockwork Orange, as seen by women" on the dust jacket.
In 1986 Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, published the first US edition of The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986.

Jonathan Cape published the first UK edition of The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986.

Details

  • Title The Handmaid's Tale
  • Author Margaret Atwood
  • Binding Hardcover
  • Pages 320
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Ecco Press, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Date 2017-04-25
  • ISBN 9781328879943 / 1328879941
  • Weight 0.95 lbs (0.43 kg)
  • Dimensions 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.3 in (21.08 x 13.97 x 3.30 cm)
  • Reading level 750
  • Themes
    • Sex & Gender: Feminine
  • Library of Congress subjects Fantasy fiction, Women
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 85021944
  • Dewey Decimal Code FIC

About the author

MARGARET ATWOOD is the author of more than forty works of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. She lives in Toronto.
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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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