1985: The Handmaid’s Tale & White Noise
The Handmaid’s Tale
Author/Editor: Margaret Atwood
Set in the near future, this book by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, describes life in what was once the United States but now a new nation called the Republic of Gilead, a highly repressive social state with extreme consequences for members of the society. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the Handmaid’s in this new world. This book addresses not only issues of women’s rights but the effects of oppression on the human spirit. The books has received many accolades including: winner of the Governor’s General’s Award, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and the Commonwealth Literary Prize, and shortlisted for the Booker Prize (UK) and the Ritz-Paris-Hemingway Prize (Paris). Information about Atwood and her publications can be found on her website, or listen to Atwood talking about her book:
Author/Editor: Don DeLillo
A self-reflexive post-modern novel (is there any other kind?), which pokes fun at post-modernity in academia, psychiatric pharmaceuticals, the nuclear family, aging, and environmental collapse. Jack Gladney is a non-German speaking professor in Hitler Studies at an unnamed university. An ill-defined toxic airborne event is reported, and an evacuation is forced. Dylarama, an experimental pharmaceutical intended to treat the fear of death has unexpected side effects.
Nothing says 1985 like post-modern academic shenanigans.