25 Books Like The Handmaid's Tale

25 Books Like The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale has long been a popular book but with the creation of the TV show it has had a surge of popularity with the handmaid becoming a symbol of protest across the world. This article is the next in the series of 'Books Similar to' articles and contains some great suggestions.

1

the power

By Naomi Alderman

Preface: Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light.

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2

1984

By George Orwell

Preface: 1984 by George Orwell features on nearly every ‘Books to Read Before You Die’ list that I have ever seen, and for good reason.

Winston Smith is an employee in the Ministry of Truth in London. Every aspect of his life is dominated by fear of those in charge and when Big Brother is watching you at every moment he is afraid for good reason.

Then Winston falls in love with Julia and begins to question everything and to believe they can beat the system after all.

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3

The End Of The World Running Club

By Adrian Walker

Preface: Edgar Hill is far from your typical hero. He is an overweight, middle-aged man who drinks too much. Ed would rather spend his time drinking than or nursing a hangover than spending time with his family.

Then an apocalyptic event occurs and Edgar finds himself separated from his wife and kids. Suddenly all he can think about is getting them back. He will do anything to get them, including run over 500 miles across the dangerous and desolate country.

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4

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Bronte

Preface: Charlotte Brontë's first published novel, Jane Eyre was immediately recognised as a work of genius when it appeared in 1847. Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr Rochester and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society.

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5

American War

By Omar El Akkad

Preface: It is 2074 and a second American Civil War has broken out between the Northern and Southern states of America, the (Blues) and the (Reds.)

Sarat Chestnut is six and lives with her family in a corrugated container in St James, Louisiana. She spends her days playing in the river and on it’s muddy banks with her twin sister Dana and her brother Simon. This is the last time she will remember being happy.

American War is a story told by Sarat’s nephew and outlines how a young girl was turned by circumstance into a deadly weapon.

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6

Red Clocks

By leni zumas

Preface: In 'Red Clocks' a law has been passed making abortion illegal in America and IVF has been banned because embryo's cannot agree to the process. In light of these changes four women must make some difficult decisions about the path their lives must now take.

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7

Woman on the Edge of Time

By Marge Piercy

Preface: After being unjustly committed to a mental institution, Connie Ramos is contacted by an envoy from the year 2137, who shows her a utopian future of sexual and racial equality and environmental harmony.

But Connie also bears witness to another potential outcome: a dystopian society of grotesque exploitation. One will become our world. And Connie herself may strike the decisive blow...

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8

The Mermaids in the basement

By Marina Warner

Preface: A collection of short stories reworking folklore and legends, from the Queen of Sheba and Ariadna after Naxos to the babysnatchers, rapists and seducers of the popular media imagination.

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9

Vox

By Christina Dalcher

Preface: Silence can be deafening.

Jean spends her days in almost complete silence, limited to a quota of just one hundred words a day.

No woman is able to speak over this limit without punishment by electric shock.

But when the President’s brother suffers a stroke, Jean is temporarily given back her voice in order to work on the cure.

And she soon soon discovers that she is part of a much larger plan: to eliminate the voices of women entirely.

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10

Brave New World

By Aldous Huxley

Preface: Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...

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11

The Testament of Jessie Lamb

By Jane Rogers

Preface: Women are dying in their millions. Some blame scientists, some see the hand of God. As she watches her world collapsing, Jessie Lamb decides she wants to make her life count. Would you let your daughter die if it would save the human race?

The Testament of Jessie Lamb is the story of one daughter's heroism and one father's love.

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12

The Children of Men

By P. D. James

Preface: Under the despotic rule of Xan Lyppiatt, the Warden of England, the old are despairing and the young cruel. Theo Faren, a cousin of the Warden, lives a solitary life in this ominous atmosphere. That is, until a chance encounter with a young woman leads him into contact with a group of dissenters. Suddenly his life is changed irrevocably, as he faces agonising choices which could affect the future of mankind.

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13

Only Ever Yours

Preface: eves are designed, not made.

The School trains them to be pretty

The School trains them to be good.

The School trains them to Always be Willing.

All their lives, the eves have been waiting. Now, they are ready for the outside world.

companion . . . concubine . . . or chastity

Only the best will be chosen.

And only the Men decide.

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14

When She Woke

By Hillary Jordan

Preface: Hannah Payne is a RED.

Her crime: MURDER.

And her victim, says the state of Texas, was her unborn child.

Lying on a table in a bare room, covered by only a paper gown, Hannah awakens to a nightmare. Cameras broadcast her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes - criminals whose skin has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime - is a sinister form of entertainment.

Hannah refuses to reveal the identity of her father. But cast back into a world that has marked her for life, how far will she go to protect the man she loves?

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15

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

By Meg Elison

Preface: In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it.

A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.

After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.

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16

Oryx and Crake

By Margaret Atwood

Preface: In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it.

A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.

After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.

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17

The Man In The High Castle

By Philip. K. Dick

Preface: The Man in The High Castle provides the reader with a glimpse of an alternative world - where the Allies lost the Second World War and the Nazis have taken over New York, the Japanese control California and the African continent is virtually wiped out. In a neutral buffer zone in America that divides the world's new rival superpowers, lives the author of an underground bestseller. His book offers a new vision of reality - an alternative theory of world history in which the Axis powers were defeated - giving hope to the disenchanted. Does 'reality' lie with him, or is his world just one among many others?

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18

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy

Preface: The Road is the story of a father and son walking alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast.

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19

The World’s Wife

By Carol Ann Duffy

Preface: That saying? Behind every famous man . . . ? From Mrs Midas to Queen Kong, from Elvis’s twin sister to Pygmalion’s bride, they’re all here, in Carol Ann Duffy’s inspired and inspirational collection, The World’s Wife. Witty and thought-provoking, this is a tongue-in-cheek, no-holds-barred look at the real movers and shakers across history, myth and legend. If you have ever wondered, for example, how exactly Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, or what, precisely, Frau Freud thought about her husband – then this is the book for you, as the wives of the great, the good, the not so good, and the legendary are given a voice in Carol Ann Duffy’s sparkling and inventive collection.

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20

The Passage

By Justin Cronin

Preface: Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world.

She is.

Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.

He's wrong.

FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.

It is.

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21

The Bloody Chamber

By Angela Carter

Preface: From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires and werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.

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22

A Room of One’s Own

By Virginia Woolf

Preface: Room of One's Own, based on a lecture given at Girton College, Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics, ranging in its themes from Jane Austen and Carlotte Brontë to the silent fate of Shakespeare's gifted (imaginary) sister and the effects of poverty and sexual constraint on female creativity.

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23

Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston

Preface: When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds ...

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24

The Parable of the Sower

By Octavia E Butler

Preface: When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death, Lauren Olamina, an empath and the daughter of a minister, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny...and the birth of a new faith, as Lauren becomes a prophet carrying the hope of a new world and a revoltionary idea christened "Earthseed."

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25

Bumped

By Megan McCafferty

Preface: A virus has swept the world, making everyone over the age of eighteen infertile. Teenagers are now the most prized members of society, and would-be parents desperately bid for 'conception contracts' with the prettiest, healthiest and cleverest girls - cash, college tuition and liposuction in exchange for a baby.

Sixteen-year-old Melody is gorgeous, athletic and has perfect grades, and has scored an amazing contract with a rich couple. And she's been matched with one of the most desirable 'bumping' partners in the world - the incredibly hot, genetically flawless Jondoe.

But Melody's luck is about to run out. She discovers she has a sister - an identical twin, Harmony, who has grown up in a religious community opposed to the idea of 'pregging'. Harmony believes her calling is to save Melody from her sinful plans. Melody doesn't have time for this - she can't wait to meet Jondoe and seal the deal. But when he arrives and mistakes Harmony for Melody, everyone's carefully-laid plans are swept out of control - and Melody and Harmony are about to realise they have so much more than just DNA in common.

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