The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood, first published in 1985. The plot is set in New England, in a totalitarian state, known as Gilead. The novel explores themes of subjugated women in a patriarchal society. The central character is a handmaid named Offred forcibly assigned to carry a child for one of the top-ranking officials. Will she be able to fight for a better life in this cruel society?