"The Handmaid's Tale"

David Trammel's picture

Margaret Atwood's story "The Handmaid's Tale" is set to come to Hulu as a ten episode mini-series on April 24th. Early reviews are giving it two thumbs up.


Greer taught me that while the Future can be influenced by the Past, it often surprises us. While a violent overthrow of the government is something I give little chance, I recognize the power of the narrative of change. Even change we do not want.

because I don't have Hulu or any other cable site. I watch Dvd's on my TV and bird videos for the kitties.

I did read the book, years ago and have forgotten what it was about, so I wouldn't be in a rush to watch anyway as it apparently didn't impress me at all. Also if the reviews are good....I probably wouldn't like it. I'm contrary when it comes to what is supposed to be popular.

LOL! I hate literary SF in general and Margaret Attwood in particular! I'd say skip Handmaiden and read Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin


Did I mention I worked 15 years in a bookstore??? Part time. I'd sign my check and give in back to them.

Well, dang! I may be forced to reread it.

"Why Hulu’s “Handmaid’s Tale” May Be the Wrong Adaptation for Trump Era"

But it wasn’t only the gendered lines of combat that Atwood recognized in the nascent Christian Right—and this is where Hulu’s adaptation appears to take a self-conscious risk that may ultimately make it the wrong adaptation for the Age of Trump. Margaret Atwood’s novel also carefully noted the racialized history of the Christian Right, which predated its opposition to abortion. In the novel, African Americans are called the 'Children of Ham' and are being 'resettled' out of Gilead into the less prosperous 'National Homeland' formerly known as North Dakota.

It was a reference to the contemporaneous practice of South African apartheid’s formation of homelands, but the phrase invoked the Biblical story of Noah’s curse on Ham, which had been used for centuries to justify policies enforcing the servility of people of African descent to whites. The phrase, in fact, had been used as part of the defense of Christian Segregation in the South after Reconstruction and even, sometimes, into the 1960s. It was used by Jerry Falwell to argue for the Biblical basis of segregation, and against the Civil Rights Movement, before he began politically organizing evangelicals in the 1970s. With some exceptions, like the Schaeffers, many of the leaders of the emergent Christian Right had a heritage in the theological tradition of Christian Segregation.

Atwood famously said of her novel that 'there isn’t anything in the book not based on something that has already happened in history or in another country'' This was true of the way Noah’s curse on Ham was used to justify Segregation after the Civil War, but it was especially true of the way it was used by many Southern Christians to justify slavery before that. In fact, Atwood modeled Gilead on the Biblically-sanctioned oppression of slavery, which is why the novel borrows liberally from the details of slave narratives such as Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.

Oh, double dang! I'm behind on my Religious Dispatches reading this week

"Alabama Senate Considers Giving Church Its Own Police Force; Irony Reportedly Dead"

The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force.

"Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department. The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe."

I don't intend to read or see it, because I find some kinds of gruesome/nasty stories to be really hard on my psyche (I've never watched nor read horror, for example), but my friends think the book is very powerful, and are planning to watch. I'm so old-fashioned that I still want the movies to be more "leave it to the imagination" rather than shoving me their images at me (I have stopped both tv and movies for a couple decades now; I prefer reading where I can form my own images; one reason I avoid books that wallow in sex and violence).

I'm in favor of storylines that lead us to think about the consequence of expanding/extending our current mistakes, but I wish they didn't pander to those who just want to watch sex & violence. I tend to think that is having implications for the cultural psyche.