Book Club Reads Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
January 28, 2013
Handmaid’s Tale is a strongly feminist dystopian tale. When it first came out in 1986, I was fresh out of college and on my own for the first time. The oppressive future Atwood imagined for America filled me with righteous indignation. I was in my rebel-without-a-clue phase.
I’ve read it twice since then, and I still appreciate the feminist themes, but mostly I’m awed by how prophetic Atwood’s story turned out to be. She predicted little things like the dominance of plastic over cash in Americans’ buying habits and big things like the rise of the Christian right in politics. I was also struck by its insights, completely unintended by Atwood I think, into fundamentalist Muslim governments in countries like Iran and Afghanistan and the plight of women there.