I just finished the book. Sharing a 1986 review of the book.
The author has carefully drawn her projections from current trends. As she has said elsewhere, there is nothing here that has not been anticipated in the United States of America that we already know. Perhaps that is the trouble: the projections are too neatly penciled in. The details, including a Wall (as in Berlin, but also, as in the Middle Ages, a place where executed malefactors are displayed), all raise their hands announcing themselves present. At the same time, the Republic of Gilead itself, whatever in it that is not a projection, is insufficiently imagined. The Aunts are a good invention, though I cannot picture them as belonging to any future; unlike Big Brother, they are more part of the past – our schoolteachers.
Mary McCarthy — The New York Times
3 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale”
McCarthy’s review is interesting. I wonder how she would write it 30 years later in the current political clime.
Yes. And also that the novel has managed to stay more than relevant in current times.
I agree. I think the book may be more relevant than her review.