09 September 2019 - Margaret Atwood expands the world of «The Handmaid's Tale» with sequel «The Testaments»
Margaret Atwood Expands the World of The Handmaid’s Tale
Jia Tolentino (The New Yorker, 05/09/2019)
The political deployment of imagery from Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” began in Texas, in the spring of 2017, at a protest against the state’s ongoing campaign to restrict abortion rights. The TV adaptation of the book would soon begin streaming, on Hulu. The show stars Elisabeth Moss as the novel’s narrator and protagonist, Offred, a woman stripped of her job, her family, and her name in a near-future American theocracy called Gilead. Offred is a Handmaid, forced to live as a breeding concubine; each month, she is ceremonially raped by her Commander, a man of high status, in the interest of rebuilding a population that has dwindled owing to secular immorality, environmental toxicity, and super-S.T.D.s. Like all Handmaids, she wears a scarlet dress, a long cloak, and a face-obscuring white bonnet, a uniform that Atwood based, in part, on the woman on the label of Old Dutch Cleanser, an image that had scared her as a child.
Book Review: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Laura Freeman (BBC, 06/09/2019)
Strange the things that stay with you, what you remember and what you forget. If someone had said “The Handmaid’s Tale” at any time in the 18 years since I first read Margaret Atwood’s dystopia, one scene would have come to mind: the Ceremony, the ritualised rape of the Handmaid Offred by the Commander, while Offred rests her head in the lap of his wife. Nothing else in the book – not the hangings, the scapegoatings, the slut-shamings, the unbabies – had the power of that menacing ménage a trois.
“Which of us is it worse for, her or me?” wonders Offred. Both women, fertile chattel and barren wife, are debased; both suffer a peculiar humiliation. The Wives, Handmaids and domestic Marthas of Gilead are helpmeets, vessels and servants. They have no right to work, earn, talk back, walk alone. They have no right to read and no right to pleasure. It’s unclear which of these Atwood considers the greater wound.
The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood: "I have never believed it can't happen here"
(CBS News, 08/09/2019)
Even if you'd never heard of "The Handmaid's Tale," its Emmy win for Best Drama was obviously a big deal. It picked up eight Emmys for Hulu in 2017.
And when Margaret Atwood, the author of the 1985 book that inspired the TV show, made her way to the stage wearing "handmaid" red, the applause – a standing ovation – spoke volumes.
In Atwood's novel, handmaids are essentially sex slaves, forced to bear children for infertile couples among the power elite in Gilead, the totalitarian dystopia the United States had become after being taken over by Christian zealots.
What does our future look like according to dystopian fiction?
David Barnett (The Independent, 08/09/2019)
The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel to Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale, is finally here – and has never been more timely.
Set 15 years after the first book, The Testaments once again delves into the world of Gilead – an ultra-conservative, Christian fundamentalist United States of America, where women’s rights have been stamped out, rebellion is dealt with in brutal fashion, but where life can be good… so long as you’re a straight, white male.