The Handmaid's Tale Reading Guide

The handmaid s tale

A reading guide to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

The Handmaid’s Tale went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against him; and the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series. Sales of the English language edition have now topped 8 million copies worldwide.

About the book

It is the world of the near future, and Offred is a Handmaid in the home of the Commander and his wife. She is allowed out once a day to the food market, she is not permitted to read, and she is hoping the Commander makes her pregnant, because she is only valued if her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she was an independent woman, had a job of her own, a husband and child. But all of that is gone now…everything has changed.

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We’re celebrating a year of fantastic books on the Radio 2 Book Club with Jo Whiley! Since January 2019, 21 of the best new fiction titles have been featured on the show. The Reading Agency has been working with the BBC since 2013, and along with a team of passionate librarians, we help select the titles that are chosen for the show. So, take a look at the 2019 Book Club titles – from household names to the hottest new talent, we’re sure you’ll find something for you and your reading group to...

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Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.

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Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

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