Margaret Atwood Handmaid Tale Essay
I see that I left Berlin in June of 1984, returned to Canada, spent a month on Galiano Island in British Columbia, wrote through the fall, then spent four months in early 1985 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I held an MFA Chair.
I finished the book there; the first person to read it was fellow writer Valerie Martin, who was also there at that time.
I recall that I was writing by hand, then transcribing with the aid of a typewriter, then scribbling on the typed pages, then giving these to a professional typist: personal computers were in their infancy in 1985.
People—not only women—have sent me photographs of their bodies with phrases from being the most frequent.
The book has had several dramatic incarnations, a film (with screenplay by Harold Pinter and direction by Volker Schlöndorff) and an opera (by Poul Ruders) among them. I did not anticipate any of this when I was writing the book.
These are questions with which human beings have busied themselves for a long time.
There would be resistance to such a regime, and an underground, and even an underground railroad.