I thought I was writing fiction in The Handmaid’s Tale.
By Margaret Atwood, The Atlantic
MAY 13, 2022
In the early years of the 1980s, I was fooling around with a novel that explored a future in which the United States had become disunited. Part of it had turned into a theocratic dictatorship based on 17th-century New England Puritan religious tenets and jurisprudence. I set this novel in and around Harvard University—an institution that in the 1980s was renowned for its liberalism, but that had begun three centuries earlier chiefly as a training college for Puritan clergy.
In the fictional theocracy of Gilead, women had very few rights, as in 17th-century New England. The Bible was cherry-picked, with the cherries being interpreted literally.
The show’s repetition and lack of progress through four seasons feel achingly familiar – and maybe that's the point
By KYLIE CHEUNG
PUBLISHED MAY 26, 2021
After almost two years, Hulu's "Handmaid's Tale" returned for its fourth season in April, picking up right where it left off throughout its last three seasons of gratuitous violence with minimal plot payoff. Wednesday's episode follows June's escape from Gilead into refuge in Canada, as she will reunite with loved ones and figures from her past after years of separation and recycled plotlines.
Set in the fictional dystopia of Gilead, "The Handmaid's Tale" depicts America's future after a civil war and takeover by religious political extremists who relegate all women to "handmaids," or baby incubators for powerful men and their wives. Handmaids are denied access to education, or really any basic human rights or bodily autonomy, which has consistently helped the Hulu drama strike a chord amid ongoing, escalating attacks on reproductive rights in the U.S.
Madeline Brewer and showrunner Bruce Miller speak to The Hollywood Reporter about how the pandemic impacted some of their plans and why they are proud of the powerful story told in season four.
BY JACKIE STRAUSE
MAY 7, 2021
“I’m honored to tell this part of the story,” says Madeline Brewer.
The Handmaid’s Tale star, who has played Handmaid Janine since the beginning of the flagship Hulu drama, can’t quite recall when she found out that her character would be getting a flashback in the fourth season, which returned to streaming on April 28.
Abortion curbs led to book: Atwood
Moves to limit women's access to abortion, particularly in the United States, led to The Testaments
By Reuters in London
Canadian author Margaret Atwood said moves to limit women's access to abortion, particularly in the United States, led to the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale which was released on Tuesday in a hotly-anticipated cultural event.
The Testaments sees Atwood pick up the story from her 1985 account of a totalitarian future in which fertile women are forced into sexual servitude to repopulate a world facing environmental disaster. She said she had not planned a sequel to the story, which was set in fictional Gilead in the US region of New England in the near future, but real life political events, including moves to limit women’s reproductive rights, led her to reconsider.
From TV to Real Life: ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Co-Producer Discusses Women’s Rights Issues
By Bonnie Azoulay
When Wendy Straker Hauser started working as a co-producer on The Handmaid’s Tale, Donald Trump hadn’t yet won the presidency. She was just as shocked as viewers watching the show when they discovered how accurately Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel mimicked the politics unfolding in real time. Until I spoke to Hauser, I assumed that some of the events portrayed on the TV series were altered to reflect what was happening in modern-day America. But before it streamed on Hulu, the show was produced and shot months before she or her crew could have a chance to change any scenes to mirror current events.