What to read after The Handmaid's Tale
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The recent Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale has ignited a new fervour around bookshops. The 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood is popping up on promotional tables everywhere in 2017. Once you've devoured the source text from this year's Emmy-winning TV series, you might want to consider delving into these exciting titles. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood This novel revolves around two young women, Yolanda and Verla, as they're kidnapped and taken to a secure facility in the Australian outback along with eight other girls. Food supplies gradually become scarce and the jailers become the jailed as the tables turn for the girls. The novel won the Stella Prize in 2016 - and for good reason. It's definitely not for the fainthearted and contains potentially triggering material, but it's a book that refuses to be shaken off. Wood creates a gritty feminist text that examines female embodiment, the power of women, and where slut-shaming can take us. The Last One by Alexandra Oliva Zoo - the central character of Oliva's novel - is a contestant in a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are released into the woods to face challenges which will push them to the edge of their physical and mental boundaries. The lines soon begin to blur between fiction and reality and the novel morphs into a dystopian struggle for survival. With The Last One, Olivia has written a great post-apocalyptic thriller.
feminism's major qualms - women's supposed inferiority and the potentially damaging nature of the cosmetics industry. Don't be deceived by its pretty cover.
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
Women and children are dying of a violent plague that means birth rates have hit zero worldwide. Alternating between journal entries and third-person narrative, Elison's novel follows a midwife who disguises herself as a man to survive in this new world where the few surviving women are taken as property or slaves. Although problematic, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife cleverly analyses gender and is a brilliantly grim read. It won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2014.
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