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"If it's a story I'm telling, then I have control over the ending...
But if it's a story, even in my head, I must be telling it to someone.
You don't tell a story only to yourself. There's always someone else. Even when there is no one."
Please join the CUA English Society for a discussion of
THE HANDMAID'S TALE (1986)
by Margaret Atwood
'The Handmaid's Tale tells the story of Offred – not her real name, but the patronymic she has been given by the new regime in an oppressive parallel America of the future – and her role as a Handmaid. The Handmaids are forced to provide children by proxy for infertile women of a higher social status, the wives of Commanders. They undergo regular medical tests, and in many ways become invisible, the sum total of their biological parts.
Offred remembers her life before the inception of Gilead, when she had a husband, a daughter and a life. She had been a witness to the dissolution of the old America into the totalitarian theocracy that it now is, and she tries to reconcile the warning signs with reality: "We lived in the gaps between the stories."
Fiercely political and bleak, yet witty and wise, the novel won the inaugural Arthur C Clarke award in 1987, but Atwood has always maintained that the novel is not classifiable science fiction.'
- Charlotte Newman, The Guardian
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