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Talking Volumes
The Handmaid's Tale is the Talking Volumes selection for May 2003.

Talking Volumes
May 8, 2003

With musical guest Elisabeth Comeaux, of the Minnesota Opera.

April 14, 2003

The Minnesota Opera performs The Handmaid's Tale's North American debut.

"Opera Handmaid's Tale makes U.S. premiere":
MPR's Marianne Combs takes a look at the production.

"Interview with Poul Ruders and Dale Johnson"
MPR's Lauren Rico speaks to the Minnesota Opera's artistic director and the composer.

"Modern Literary Inspirations"
MPR's Rex Levang examines literary adaptation and social statement as trends in modern opera.

Photos from the Minnesota Opera Production
Photos by Michal Daniel, courtesy The Minnesota Opera.

Costume Sketch Slideshow
See artist renderings of the opera's dramatic costumes.

Set Models Slideshow
The set models slowly evolve to follow the story's drama.

Discuss the novel

Discuss adaptation of stories into operas


The Margaret Atwood Reference Site: the author's official site

The Handmaid's Tale: Readers' Group Companion: from Random House

Margaret Atwood: More about the author

"Internet Resources on Margaret Atwood and Her Works"

The Blind Assassin: from MPR Books

Excerpt from "The Bridge," from Bookbrowse.com

The Booker Prize


More Midmorning books

More Talking Volumes books

Buy Talking Volumes books online at BookSense.com.
The Handmaid's Tale
Talking Volumes
The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood
Anchor Books, 1998
Buy this book

(From the publisher) In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now ....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Margaret Atwood
© Thies Bogner
About the Author
(From the publisher) Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

She is the author of more than 30 books—novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children.

Atwood's work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye—both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize. She is the recipient of numerous honors, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the United Kingdom, the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the United States, Le Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England.

Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.

Books by Margaret Atwood
Oryx and Crake (Doubleday, 2003)
The Blind Assassin (Bantam Doubleday, 2000)
Cat's Eye (Anchor Books, 1998)
The Robber Bride (Nan A. Talese, 1993)
Alias Grace (Nan A. Talese, 1993)
Wilderness Tips (Bantam Doubleday, 1996)
Bluebeard's Egg (Anchor Books, 1998)

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