The powerful adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (and its many Emmy wins) has sparked the need for feminist dystopian literature inside us all! Below are five must-reads on just that.
1. When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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In this Bellwether Prize-winner, those who are convicted of a crime cannot fly under the radar. Once convicted, your skin is chromed with a color that determines the level of your crime. They then release you into the world for all to see your crimes and you must try to survive. Hannah’s skin is now red, which means murder. Join her on her path of self-discovery while she explores her loyalties to faith and social constructs.
2. California by Edan Lepucki
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How far would you go to protect a loved one? Cal and Frida are in mourning of the life they used to know when Los Angeles crumbles. They lean on each other for support during their life in the wilderness. However, they must seek shelter and companions when Frida discovers that she is pregnant. The group they discover proves to be dangerous and secretive and will present great threats to the pair.
3. The Children of Men by P.D. James
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This dystopian novel is most like Margaret Atwood’s in that it explores what happens when society becomes infertile. Theodore Faron has seemingly given up on a world that has no future until a woman named Julian comes along to change his mind. Will she continue to awaken the minds of the rest of the world and change their fate?
4. The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
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This novel has come to be known as the ‘reimagined Joan of Arc.’ Yuknavitch writes about a world that has been plagued by war and turned into a full fighting ground. The human response turns the people into those who do not represent humans at all: pale, sexless, hairless creatures. Per Amazon:
A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places—even at the extreme end of post-human experience—Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival.
5. The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
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Megan Hunter writes a powerful tale encompassing strong maternal ties with natural survival instincts. After the city of London has been submerged in water, a woman gives birth to a child and must go to great lengths to survive. The child exemplifies the natural wonder and beauty that you would expect from a baby, despite the state of the world.
Feature Image Courtesy of The Boar