Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Reading List #3-- That book you always meant to read

Of all of my summer reading suggestions, I imagine that this is the one that the most people will have already read. But if you haven't, why not??

On vacation, I always try to read the "How have I never read that before??" book... last summer I read The Picture of Dorian Gray because I couldn't believe I had made it this far in life without reading that book. So here is my suggestion for you...

The Handmaids Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Seriously, if you haven't read this book, do it!! It is honestly one of the most important books of the twentieth century (and that isn't just me talking... most of the literary world agrees).

In 1986, Margaret Atwood (already a powerhouse voice in the feminist community by then) gave us a frightening vision-- a future where women are so controlled, so restricted, that they have simply become labels to society. The demure and "morally fit" Wives serve as companions to important men, while "Marthas" clean their homes and prepare their meals. Most disturbingly of all, the Handmaids exist in the society to bear children. They are assigned to a man deemed worthy of a child, and become known only by his name (our narrator is Offred, or Of Fred). Their function in life is to get pregnant, give birth, and watch as their child is taken by a wife to raise as her own.

This isn't my favorite book... it isn't even my favorite Margaret Atwood book (that honor goes to The Blind Assassin). But, it is a thoroughly enjoyable and extremely important book. Women, writers, literary lovers... all types. This is a book for everyone!


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! One of the best of hers. I also love The Robber Bride. I didn't like the Blind Assassin much :-/

  2. One I've definitely been meaning to read. I loved Atwood's Oryx and Crake. Thanks for the reading suggestions!