Can’t Get Enough Handmaid’s Tale? Two New Books Should Help!

For all its awards and acclaims, The Handmaid’s Tale has been a little light on extras. No Funko Pops, no fashion dolls, no keychains… not that the subject matter really lends itself to toys and light-hearted accessories. Although I do like many of the fan-made t-shirts… But I started hearing people talk about a graphic novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s original book, and went looking for it. Not only did I find that, but I found a new series companion book, The Art and Making of The Handmaid’s Tale, which covers the production through the first two seasons! This book just came out in May. Here is information about both books, along with a look inside.

The Handmaid’s Tale, The Graphic Novel
Art & Adaptation by Renee Nault

This full-color, hardback book is a wonderful adaptation of the original novel. This beautifully done hardback book is illustrated with the novel’s sensibilities – Serena Joy is older than in the TV series, Offred is not given any other name. Drawings are spare and linear, and at 240 pages, covers the first part of the novel completely (nothing about the original’s epilogue is included). The depictions of the Handmaids are beautiful – colors are bold, faces are angelic. It was definitely a much quicker read than the novel, but gave you more of a jolt, I think, seeing illustrations of Gilead’s terrible cruelty.

Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House. MSRP: $22.95; available on Amazon for $11.97.

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The Art and Making of The Handmaid’s Tale
Text by Andrea Robinson

This book was a surprise to me. I never saw anything about it – no press releases, nothing on social media! I found it by accident at Barnes & Noble, when it was sitting on a table, marked 50% off – the night before! (They gave me the discounted price when I pointed out that the sign was still there.)

It has interviews with Margaret Atwood and Elisabeth Moss, and a foreword by producer Warren Littlefield. There are pages on every episode in the first two seasons, as well as information on the design, locations, and casting. Of the 160 pages, there is info on each of the main characters and the actor chosen to portray them. Chapter 7 goes into Season 2, “Moving Beyond the Novel,” since everything past Season 1 is brand new to the story.

The hundreds of photos do a great job depicting the many details that go into this production – the labels on the jars in Loaves & Fishes, the attention that went into Offred’s room in the Waterford home, the individual pieces of each costume, the letters written by the Handmaids. I’m a backstage info addict – and I know I’ll spend hours with this one.

Insight Editions. MSRP $39.95; available on Amazon for $22.45.

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Join us to talk about the show in our non-political Facebook page, The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu – Gilead Online

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