12 books to read after The Handmaid's Tale
"Freedom, like everything else, is relative". If you're anything like us, you were obsessed with the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's feminist classic The Handmaid's Tale last year, and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of season two at UK at 9pm on 20th May 2018 on Channel 4!
Set in a radically altered version of the USA, The Handmaid's Tale is the story of Offred, a 'Handmaid' whose only purpose in society is to breed - and the second series promises to be just as compelling as the first.
Here's our list of the best books to help you fill the void once you've finished watching The Handmaid's Tale and you're eagerly anticipating season two.
A second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one girl and her family caught deep in the middle. In his debut novel - which has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke award - Omar El Akkad asks: what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself?
American War is available to buy in paperback and e-book now.
Beginning on a snowy evening in Toronto, a night in which a deadly plague erupts and wipes out 99% of the population, Station Eleven is the story of a world changed forever, and the fragile hope that remains in the people that are left behind.
In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, London is submerged below flood waters and a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. The End We Start From is a touching story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees.
Welcome to the Matriarchy - a place as different from Gilead as you can get. Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life is pretty good - if you're a girl. For boys, it's not so great though- as they're extinct. Until Mason turns up that is.
When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But all is not what it seems, and soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger as he travels to the only city on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. This award-winning novel is an addictive thriller, set in an unrecognisable world.
Suddenly, all over the world, teenage girls discover that they have electricity in their fingers, and that with it they can inflict agonising pain, and even death. This Atwood-endorsed novel by Naomi Alderman flips the world on its head and asks the question: What if the power was in women's hands instead?
War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.
Set in a totalitarian land of perpetual war and constant contradiction, George Orwell's classic thriller is as important and compelling now as it was when it was first published in 1949.
Jack lives with his Ma in Room. Room has a single locked door and a skylight, and it measures ten feet by ten feet. Jack loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on the screen is truly real - only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits there is a world outside, that Jack has never seen.
It is 2099 - and the world is drowning. For fifteen-year-old Mara the new century brings flight when packed into a tiny boat, she begins a terrifying journey to a bizarre city built on the drowned remains of the ancient city of Glasgow. Here, Mara realises she's an asylum-seeker in a world torn between high-tech wizardry and the most primitive injustice. To save her people, Mara must not only find a way into the city, but also search for a new land and a new home.
Women are no longer born, they are designed. In a world where women only exist for the pleasure of men, the first duty of every girl is to be beautiful. If you aren't, you face life as a concubine or a teacher of endless generations of future girls. Louise O'Neill's contemporary YA novel explores our beauty obsessed society through a terrifying lens.
Watch our episode of #BookBreak for even more recommendations for books to read once you've finished The Handmaid's Tale.