This is an up-to-date readers guide to Atwood's contemporary classic covering contexts, themes and criticism. Margaret Atwood's popular dystopian novel "A Handmaid's Tale", engages the reader with a broad range of issues relating to power, gender and religious politics. This guide provides an overview of the key critical debates and interpretations of the novel and encourages you to engage with key questions and readings in your reading of the text. It includes discussion of key themes and concepts including: representation of women's roles, gender, sexuality and power; language, style and form; dystopias and genre fictions; and, power, control and religious fundamentalism. Combining helpful guidance on reading Atwood's text with overviews of significant stylistic and thematic issues and an introduction to criticism, this is an ideal companion to reading and studying "A Handmaid's Tale". "Continuum Reader's Guides" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to key texts in literature and philosophy. Each book explores the themes, context, criticism and influence of key works, providing a practical introduction to close reading, guiding students towards a thorough understanding of the text. They provide an essential, up-to-date resource, ideal for undergraduate students.