Sunday, August 07, 2011

Reading THE HANDMAID'S TALE: I (by res ipsa)

Is it funny, ironic, bittersweet, or something else that a book about a society in which reading is restricted to a privileged (male) few is beautifully written? Really, one of the more beautifully written books I've read. Here is a taste:
There remains a mirror, on the hall wall. If I turn my head so that the white wings framing my face direct my vision towards it, I can see it as I go down the stairs, round, convex, a pie glass, like the eye of a fish, and myself in it like a distorted shadow, a parody of something, some fairy-tale figure in a red cloak, descending towards a moment of carelessless that is the same as danger. A Sister, dipped in blood.
How did I miss The Handmaid's Tale? I bet I thought it was too popular at the time. Too cool for school, I wasn't going to read What Everyone Else is Reading. Maybe it's better that I waited. Maybe I wouldn't have savored it as much as I am now.

Have you read it? A series of posts about The Handmaid's Tale to follow...