In this interview, Margaret Atwood discusses how the changing political context has affected the way people have read The Handmaid’s Tale in the years since it was written.
The Handmaid’s Tale is widely recognized as one of the major literary products of “second-wave feminism,” the period of feminist history lasting roughly from the sixties to the eighties. This article explains what second-wave feminism is and places it in the broader context of feminist history. The article also provides a reading list of famous second-wave books.
Feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem gave this speech in support of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 1970. Ever since, the speech has been regarded as a powerful rallying cry for second-wave feminism in the U.S. The debate about the ERA was still raging when The Handmaid’s Tale was written.
Dig is a podcast on historical topics. This episode examines the sexual beliefs and behaviors of early American Puritans, which Atwood drew on to create the Republic of Gilead.
As well as a novelist, Margaret Atwood is an acclaimed poet. This poem, written around the same time as The Handmaid’s Tale, addresses some of the novel’s themes—vision and identity—in a very different way.
Elisabeth Moss plays Offred in Hulu’s television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. In this interview she discusses the challenges of creating her role, providing insight into the character.