Contact Us

Graphic Artists Guild

2248 Broadway #1341
New York, NY 10024

Tel: (212) 791-3400

The Handmaid’s Tale (Graphic Novel)

book cover art for The Handmaid's Tale: Graphic Novel

Author Margaret Atwood
Illustrator Renee Nault

Book type: Graphic Novel

Where it is banned:

Margaret Atwood’s novel was first published in 1985 to wide acclaim, and was quickly adopted into high school and college curricula and school libraries. The book tells the story of a dystopian USA, in which fertile women are enslaved and forced to bear children for a ruling theocracy. Illustrator Renee Nault was asked to create a graphic novel version of the book, which was published in 2019. She condensed the storyline into 240 pages, with watercolor illustrations rendered in a limited color palette that evoked the threatening mood of the novel.

Despite its good reception, Atwood’s original novel was increasingly challenged by parents and other individuals disturbed by what they felt was an anti-Christian bias. The book faced so many bans that Atwood partnered with Penguin Publishing to produce an inflammable version of the book as a commentary on censorship. Nault’s graphic novel adaptation has faced similar bans. Critics have stated that the graphic novel format makes the book more accessible to juveniles, exposing them to nudity, violence, and sexual subject matter.

More Information

Go Ahead and Ban My Book
Essay by Margaret Atwood, The Atlantic