Magazine February 10, 2020, Issue

Margaret Atwood’s Tales from the Resistance

Women dressed as handmaids promote Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Austin, Tex., 2017. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese, 432 pp., $28.95)

Last fall, bookstores welcomed the arrival of the long-awaited sequel to Margaret Atwood’s 1985 best-seller, The Handmaid’s Tale. Both novels are works of feminist “speculative fiction” — meaning, This sort of thing could happen because this sort of thing has already happened! At the time it was published, The Handmaid’s Tale was considered to be a blistering takedown of Reaganite social conservatism. And the new release, The Testaments, set 15 years later in the same dystopian patriarchal future, is, according to one overexcited reviewer writing for the Guardian, “a powerful symbol of resistance to the misogyny of Donald Trump and

This article appears as “Tales from the Resistance” in the February 10, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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