The Handmaid's Tale (Graphic Novel)

illus. & adapt. by Renée Nault. 240p. Doubleday/Nan A. Talese Bks. Mar. 2019. Tr $22.95. ISBN 9780385539241.
RedReviewStarA worthy adaptation of a legendary and award-winning novel. A tyrannical religious regime has overthrown the U.S. government and reconfigured human roles and identities to severely oppress women, the LGTBQ community, and other marginalized groups. Offred is a handmaid owned by the government for the sole purpose of procreation in a country of widespread infertility. Her existence is a fragile one—a wrong move or a reckless word, and she could be obliterated. Her only escape is her memory, which remains intact and full of scenes from the way her world used to be. She had a career, a husband, and a daughter, and nothing can take those truths from her. Nault's illustrations are haunting and delicately ethereal. It's almost guilt inducing to be so captivated by the beauty of her art, so effectively does it depict the horror of Offred's experiences. At times following the narrative word for word and other times expanding the plot to portray deeper themes of fear, determined resistance, and the complicity of the public, each frame melds with the text until neither can exist without the other.
VERDICT A must-read; fans of Atwood, graphic novels, and the TV show adaptation will be particularly invested.

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