A Handmaids Tale & A Thousand Splendid Suns
Margaret Atwood is a hero of mine. I have read almost everything she has written, and love to hear her speak. I recently re-read my tattered (original) copy of A Handmaids Tale. I wanted to refresh my impressions BEFORE watching the television version. Its not long, and I anticipated a few quiet evenings of study before bed.
At the same time I was also busy painting in the studio and had begun listening to audio books. I had chosen Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. I loved his Kite Runner (Bestseller 2003) and being immersed in another place and culture. Although I hate watching the news…I was also interested in the ongoing strife and historical background of the Taliban and Muslim factions getting front page attention.
It was a wonderful ride into a different world. An Afgan woman’s world.
SO very different from my own life experience.
As a free and liberally minded woman I found the strict cultural dogma imposed on Muslim women in Afganistan disgusting. It is difficult for me to even imagine submitting or being subjected to such treatment.
As I re-read Handmaids Tale I was thrilled again by Margaret’s writing skill, building characters and drama – but knowing the outcome I wasn’t really paying attention to the “story”. It was only upon reading Atwood’s parting comment that I fell into the abyss of reality.
That all the events and circumstances in her plot and storyline were taken from actual events throughout history. Actual religious persecution, tyranny and political regimes throughout history. Christian, Muslim & otherwise.
And here in my headphones was the reality being played out.
In our world. Happening now.
Women and families suffering. Totalinarianism and religion using governments for their own purpose. Wars and conflict abound.
Poverty, abuse, rape and arranged marriage are a reality.
It was a coincidence…and an eye opener.
And has changed the way I see the world, history and the news.
and I would recommend it to everyone.
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