Woman's Hour discusses Margaret Atwood's dystopian science fiction classic
|Margaret Atwood is interviewed on BBC's Woman's Hour|
Atwood’s dark reflections on gender roles and sexual politics are often read as a satirical snapshot of the 1980s American landscape, and the novel has since become a central text in the classroom. In 1990, her dystopian vision found its way onto the silver screen, starring Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall. We might even see some trace of the book’s influence on contemporary Hollywood today, in dystopic science fiction enterprises like Children of Men (2006). The themes of the novel, which run from ecological catastrophe, to human rights, to religious fundamentalism, are perhaps more relevant now than ever, and have assumed a new kind of political urgency. The Handmaid’s Tale is a cautionary book. In a tradition that includes Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Margaret Atwood’s warning of the future is perhaps just as much a warning for the present.
Also published on The Spectator Book Blog
Woman's Hour celebrates the AnniversaryBBC Radio 4 celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of Magaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale on Woman's Hour: 'Atwood’s dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale imagines a future America under the violently oppressive rule of a far-right Christian sect. Women are back in the home and divided into domestic and reproductive functions, branded by coloured robes. They are banned from working, having money, or even reading and writing, and the fertile are forced to provide children for the elite, on pain of death. The book was a huge global success and is still regarded as a ground-breaking work of fiction. 25 years on, Margaret Atwood speaks to Jenni about why its central message has never been more relevant, with the journalist and literary critic Alex Clark.' [Read more]
Source: Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, 10 November 2010