Helpful reading around The Handmaid's Tale

The work of Margaret Atwood

Biographies / introductions to Atwood

(see also the section Biography of Margaret Atwood)

  • Margaret Atwood, a biography - Nathalie Cooke, published ECW Press, 1998
  • The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood - edited by Coral Ann Howells published
  • Margaret Atwood: A Beginner's Guide - Pilar Cudar, published Hodder and Stoughton, 2003
  • Scarlet Letters: The Handmaid's Tale - Lee Briscoe Thompson, published ECW Press, 1997

Other relevant texts by Margaret Atwood

poem This is a photograph of me (see chapter 35) - also available online
poem Half-Hanged Mary (see chapter 46) - also available online
Negotiating with the Dead - Atwood, published Cambridge University Press 2002
Oryx and Crake - Atwood
The Year of the Flood - Atwood

Literature with related themes and interests

The following can be found published in a number of editions:

Dystopias and speculative fiction

  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • The Chrysalids - John Wyndham
  • Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
  • Oryx and Crake - Atwood
  • The Year of the Flood - Atwood


Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Beloved - Toni Morrison
Sacred Hunger - Barry Unsworth
Property - Valerie Martin

Puritanical societies and religious hypocrisy

  • The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Elmer Gantry - Sinclair Lewis
  • The Crucible - (drama) Arthur Miller
  • Faith Healing - (poem) Philip Larkin

Repression of books and language

  • Mountain Language - (drama) Harold Pinter
  • Translations - (drama) Brian Friel
  • The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Nazi oppression

  • Schindler's Ark - Thomas Keneally

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