Books·Canadian

The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel

A graphic novel adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale.

Margaret Atwood & Renee Nault

In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate "Handmaids" under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred's persistent memories of life in the "time before" and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic and with Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning. (From McClelland & Stewart)

What was it like adapting The Handmaid's Tale

"Margaret's prose is really haunting and I felt like any adaptation that just focused on the plot would lose so much of that, so it was really important to me to preserve that narrative voice as much as I could. Offred's a very frustrating character. 

I wanted the art itself to be beautiful, and for each page to stand as its own work.- Renee Nault

"In the novel, you experience it through Offred's narrative voice, which is very detached and sarcastic. I hope in the graphic novel that you will get the impression that she is using that voice as a coping mechanism. The horror around her is very real, but she's very detached from it out of necessity.

"Although the subject matter is bleak, I wanted the art itself to be beautiful, and for each page to stand as its own work."

Read more in Renee Nault's interview with CBC Books.

Interviews with Margaret Atwood

In conversation with Peter Gzowski, the author describes the setting of her dystopian new novel and says she had many sources of inspiration for its grim vision. 15:41
Margaret Atwood, a visiting professor at New York University, reads from her latest book. 1:15
Margaret Atwood reveals what she would do differently with The Handmaid's Tale, and how it's relevance changed after the U.S. election 22:47

Other books by Margaret Atwood

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.