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Girls & Women

'The Handmaid’s Tale' Got 13 Emmy Noms — Here’s More Inspiration From Margaret Atwood


The 69th primetime Emmy awards nominations were announced on Thursday and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” earned 13 nominations. Avid readers across Canada and the United States likely knew of Atwood before this, but there’s no doubt the Hulu series garnered new attention for the Canadian author.

Regardless of when you tuned it to her works, Atwood’s words are motivating to us all. Here are four times Atwood’s inspired us.

Don't let the bastards grind you down.

Although “The Handmaid’s Tale” is currently Atwood’s most buzzworthy book, the author’s full bibliography is extensive. She has published over 80 works, including 16 novels, eight short fiction publications, eight children’s books, and numerous poems, among many others. 

In "The Handmaid's Tale," Atwood writes “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” It's essentially a made-up Latin phrase that roughly translates to “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Atwood herself told Time magazine that it was a joke in her Latin classes in school. Still, it has become somewhat of an inspring quote for feminists.

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Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

Atwood has long been regarded as a feminist writer, even though she has danced around saying that herself. Still, there’s no denying the significance of the heroines in her stories. She has explored women’s struggles in many of her novels and has expressed feminist messages in doing so.

We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.

“The Edible Woman,” “Surfacing,” “Lady Oracle,” and “Bodily Harm” all deal with female protagonists resisting oppression in some way or another. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is of course one of the more well-known feminist references in her writing.

Although there have been other adaptations of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the Hulu series has been widely successful — likely because it hits close to home in today’s political climate. It was the most-viewed launch of a show for Hulu and has already been renewed for a second season (due to come out in 2018).

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A word after a word after a word is power.

Atwood is an advocate for environmental issues and a few of her recent novels touch on that. “Oryx & Crake,” and its follow-up novels, “The Year of the Flood,” and “MaddAddam” take place in a sort of post-apocalyptic world. Darren Aronofsky announced a television series will be developed based on the trilogy.