The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed.

If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

This powerful evocation of 21st century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

Her other novels include Cat's Eye, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize and Oryx and Crake, was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, was published in 2009. She was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.