The Dystopian Novels Every Woman Should Read After The Handmaid's Tale

Courtesy of HarperCollins
Sales of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 surged on Amazon after Donald Trump was elected president last November. A debate raged as to whether the American population would be subdued through fear, as in 1984, or sated by pleasure, as in Aldous Huxley’s iconic dystopia, Brave New World. It’s safe to say that since November, dystopia has been in the air.
But with the release of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a whole new dystopian narrative is coming to the forefront of the cultural dialogue. The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, envisions America after a religious coup strips women of their rights and codifies them within a stiff hierarchy, largely to wrestle with the rise of infertility. In Gilead, fertile women are leased out as “handmaids” to powerful families.
With some modern touches, Hulu’s adaptation brings Atwood’s novel into shockingly relatable territory. While watching, you just might think: Could this actually happen? Through the introduction of alternate realities, dystopias encourage people to reconsider their present day.
If The Handmaid’s Tale has blown your mind and you’re hungry for more dystopian stories with a focus on women, check out these novels.

More from Books & Art

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.