The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Original publication date:1985
This week is banned books week in the United States. All week I will be highlighting banned, challenged, and censored books I own and have read.
In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate “Handmaids” under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred’s persistent memories of life in the “time before” and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.
Status: Challenged in the United States (citation: #37)
Reason for challenge in the U.S.: Parents complained about sexual and anti-religious content (citation).
My thoughts: I thought this was a brilliant book that achieved dystopian eeriness in a way not even 1984 managed. You can see my full review here.
Your Turn: Have you read this or any other dystopian novels (1984, Fahrenheit 451, – both challenged as well, by the way- etc.)? What is it about dystopian novels that seems to make them so prone to challege? Do you object to sexual content in a book when it is making a social or political point?
Check out my Banned Books Week Spotlights all week, every day at 2 pm Central through Saturday, Octobter 4th.
Rebecca of The Book Lady’s Blog is doing Banned Books Week Spotlights as well, every morning at 9 am. Check her out as well!