Margaret Atwood & Bruce Miller talk about taking "The Handmaid's Tale" from page to screen at the festival on Sunday at 2:30 with Times Assistant Managing Editor Mary McNamara. Atwood recently spoke to Patt Morrison about the books enduring relevance:
When “The Handmaid’s Tale” was published in 1985, reproductive rights were under siege and acid rain was corroding the forests and rivers. The Canadian writer Margaret Atwood reasoned that if you took all this to its logical end, you could wind up with a theocracy, not a democracy, and a population rendered sterile by its own poisons. So her novel of speculative fiction imagined a hyper-religious nation where young women who were still fertile were rounded up and confined to the human equivalent of puppy mills, forced to bear the children of powerful men.
Well, here we are in 2017, and women’s rights to control their own bodies are at risk again, the environment is threatened again — and “The Handmaid’s Tale” is more popular than ever. It became a feature film in 1990, and this April 26, Hulu launches “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a 10-episode series. Why is this book, like George Orwell’s “1984,” finding a new and large and attentive following?