“a savage and beautiful novel that speaks to us today with conviction and power.”
– Peter Florence , Chairman, Booker Prize
Written in 1985 by Margrett Atwood, A Handmaids Tale is speculative dystopian fiction. Set in a post-civil war United States, the novel explores the fictional theocracy of Gilead. The details that would send shockwaves each time one reads it, even after three decades of its release speaks of the intricacies that it shares and the relevance it holds. Shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize, is its sequel The Testaments.
With the oppressive atmosphere still prevailing in Gilead, the narrative has changed. Spread over three protagonists namely Aunt Lydia, Agnes and Nicole, The Testaments weaves in three perspectives of women who have been through the regime from the beginning and later on. The novel answers the questions about Gilead and draws parallel to the current political and cultural climate. Though seemingly powerful, Gilead is beginning to rot. Aunt Lydia chooses to destroy the regime from within even when she was the earliest to collaborate. The novel reaches its crucial juncture when lives of these three women converge. How their search for their identity and their journey for what they believe in makes it yet another gripping tale of survival.