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American Women's Club of Hamburg

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Book Club

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Date/Time: Wednesday, November 21, 2018, 19:00
     
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Book Club
When: November 21, 2018 at 7:00 PM Where: TBA

Dear Book Friends,

At our November Book Club meeting we will discuss The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, which was one of the first books the relaunched Book Club read in 2015. Nevertheless, we decided to revisit this 1985 novel because we have many new members in the group and because it is relevant today, not just because of the popular TV series. "Atwood conceived the novel as ‘speculative fiction,’ a work that imagines a future that could conceivably happen without any advances in technology from the present. ... Every aspect of the book was inspired by social and political events of the early 1980s, when she wrote it. Because of this, Atwood’s novel has an eerie way of always feeling of the moment, as it turns out, from its first publication through every other iteration that has followed. When it debuted in 1985, Atwood even took newspaper clips to her interviews about the book to show her plot points’ real-life antecedents." (Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, BBC)

Synopsis from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool- eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

The next scheduled Book Club meeting will take place on January 16, 2019. We will reading Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie. This is a narrative biography of a German princess who went to Russia at 14 and became one of the most powerful women in history—"a great story in the hands of a master story teller". 625 pp

We hope that you can join us!

Best regards,
Carol S (bookclub@awchamburg.org)


 

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