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Excerpt: "Atwood, 77, calls it one of her 'speculative fiction' novels but said every scenario was drawn from real events - from Puritan society to environmental pollution, infertility, the fight for women's rights, the Cold War, book burnings and slavery."

Author, Margaret Atwood. (photo: Reuters)
Author, Margaret Atwood. (photo: Reuters)


Margaret Atwood: Once Preposterous, Now 'Handmaid's Tale' Is Immediate

By teleSUR

19 April 17

 

"It's always a terrible idea for women when civil rights themselves get smashed, unless you take the view that women aren't human beings," Atwood said.

argaret Atwood did not have any creative control over the latest adaptation of her dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale," but she was very clear what she didn't want.

"That they not make a sort of soft porn film called 'Maidens in Leather' or something, which has always been a temptation to certain kinds of filmmakers," the Canadian author told Reuters.

First published in 1985, "The Handmaid's Tale" imagines a totalitarian near future when fertile women are forced into sexual servitude in a bid to repopulate a world facing environmental disaster. Women are forbidden to read, cannot control money and are forced to wear modesty clothing. Everyone spies on everyone.

Thirty years on, the new TV miniseries for Hulu, premiering April 26 and starring Elisabeth Moss as Offred, seems relevant.

Atwood, 77, calls it one of her "speculative fiction" novels but said every scenario was drawn from real events — from Puritan society to environmental pollution, infertility, the fight for women's rights, the Cold War, book burnings and slavery.

Even so, the premise of "The Handmaid's Tale" seemed far-fetched in 1985. "It seemed preposterous even to me. But I don't mean to say it was preposterous. I didn't think it was going to happen in that moment," she said.

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+21 # Wise woman 2017-04-19 17:49
Hey, this is the herstory of women for the last 5000 years. Prior to that, women were revered and the Great Goddess ruled a society that was just and loving. Most of the statues of the Goddess that have been recovered in archeological digs have been mutilated by the monotheistic male God beings that were alive about 5000 years ago. Too bad we can't go back to that prior time. Since women bear children, they have always been closer to Nature and peacefulness. Few women ever want war. And no woman wants to be raped or abused. Nor does she want it for her children. That's a man's world.
 
 
+7 # mh1224jst 2017-04-20 04:14
Indeed, Wise woman, outstanding comment. I was appalled by the prophetic direction of the book when I read it, and I remember Robert Duvall's chilling performance in the movie. Other authors, like Shirley Jackson (The Lottery) and Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) moved me the same way, but this story really revealed how male dominance, enshrined in Western religions, ruins everything. In prehistory, it must have fallen upon women not only to nurture, but to protect the family unit. Men wee the killers. So here we are -- we can't even save the planet!
 
 
+2 # Observer 47 2017-04-20 13:08
Clive Barker's, "Imajica" seems relevant now.
 
 
+7 # mh1224jst 2017-04-20 04:43
Good timing: This article is highlighted the very day that Bill O'Reilly is dismissed from Fox News on allegations of abusing women.
 
 
+1 # JSRaleigh 2017-04-21 07:14
Quoting mh1224jst:
Good timing: This article is highlighted the very day that Bill O'Reilly is dismissed from Fox News on allegations of abusing women.


Truth is stranger than fiction I guess.
 
 
+7 # Glen 2017-04-20 05:22
Nicely said, Wise Woman. Most people should read The Alphabet vs. The Goddess, a history of the changes for women and goddesses, and the Jews after they emerged from the desert. Nothing but struggle for women for too many years. The U.S. hasn't really progressed according to their boasting.
 
 
0 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-04-20 08:47
While I agree wholeheartedly with Atwood’s values in The Handmaid’s Tale, in literary terms it is a sad failure. She does not understand the science fiction form; she only thinks she does. Sound SF allows one or more speculative elements, but all the rest must work logically & consistently. If one imagines a society, that society should exhibit some degree of functionality. The society Atwood postulates is presented as necessarily existing for some years, but in social & economic terms it could not function for more than a few months before collapsing. This, of course, compromises the values Atwood offers, as she has coupled them to an irrational argument.
 
 
+4 # Wise woman 2017-04-20 10:35
Happy to see these wonderful comments from men. It's heartening to know you're out there and I speak for all of us living in a misogynistic world. Bless your heart!

Scandinavian countries come close to a society that is just and peaceful. We would do well to take lessons from them. Unfortunately, this country is too rough around the edges having been founded in violence. It continues to this day.

Leonard Schlaines book is great. So is When God Was a Women. There are several books out there of note but hardly read by men. That's why I commend you guys. Thank you very much.
 

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