“It can’t happen here.” Or maybe it can. In the tradition of Orwell’s 1984
and Huxley’s Brave New World
, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
(1985) explores questions of power and powerlessness, in both the past and the future. The novel has been selected as the 2018-19 One Book, One Northwestern all campus read; this study group will meet for 7 weeks, culminating with optional attendance at Atwood’s keynote address on both University campuses on October 30, 2018. The text will be supplemented by interviews and videos, as well as optional on-campus events scheduled throughout the academic year, after the formal work of the study group has concluded. Some suggest that The Handmaid’s Tale
is only an exploration of misogyny. Atwood herself suggests something broader: What might the United States look like if it suffered a coup that transformed it from a one-time liberal democracy into a theocratic dictatorship based on the 17th
century Puritanism of the founding fathers? The Handmaid’s Tale
reads like a thriller and is both prescient and disturbing. Find out why this book is resonating with so many people right now. The special One Book edition (Anchor Books, 1986 with 2017 Margaret Atwood introduction) is the recommended text, available through the OLLI office. This study group meets for 6 weeks, starting 09/14/18.