This morning Sophie Gilbert at The Atlantic delivered a fascinating piece on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale that makes for excellent reading. While acknowledging the relevance of the series today, she also thoroughly delves into the history of Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel, enlightening readers of its very real historical roots. Not only that, she explores the feminine horror themes throughout while giving a hawk-eyed review of the TV adaptation.

But just as horror stories reflect the distinct anxieties of their eras (zombies stand in for immigration, irradiated beasts for fear of nuclear fallout), the timelessness of Atwood’s story is hard evidence of how persistent hostility toward women has always been. Gilead is a world out of time, but also a world that has the ability to reflect each new society that encounters it.

This is the perfect primer for anyone unfamiliar with Atwood’s 1985 work and also a wonderfully balanced roundup up of information (including rich quotes from Atwood, the Hulu adaptation creator Bruce Miller, and star Elisabeth Moss) that will certainly enrich the viewing of The Handmaid’s Tale.

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