In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies? Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now . Unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a scathing satire, a dire warning, and a literary tour de force.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize, and Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003. Her latest novel, The Year of the Flood, is published by Bloomsbury in September 2009. She was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada.
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