Margaret Atwood is one of the greatest living writers in the Western world. That’s a pretty big statement but Atwood’s body of work speaks for itself. She’s produced numerous extraordinary books, including a pair of wonderful graphic novels but she remains best known for The Handmaid’s Tale.
One of the definitive dystopian novels, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in Gilead, a theocracy nested inside what used to be America. Gilead’s society is intensely stratified and brutal. Entirely focused on the male populace, Gilead has forcibly relegated women to the sole task of breeding. The novel follows Offred, a handmaid assigned to a senior military officer in Gilead as she struggles to survive, remember her past and become instrumental in a possible future. It’s a brutal, hard read that looks set to be a brutal, hard watch, especially in 2017. The trailer is below.
Entertainment Weekly also report that Atwood has added new material for the recent Audible release. Set in 2195, this features a symposium discussing life in Gilead from a point after its destruction. It’s a really interesting addition, using the audio format to give a new perspective on the story and is as subtle and subversive as Atwood always is. It’s also subtly hopeful, a note that changes the book in definitive and again, gentle ways. Entertainment Weekly have an extract, and the chapter is available as part of the Audible audiobook version now.
The show will be released on Hulu on 26 April. As soon as it has a UK broadcaster we’ll let you know.