Date of publication: 2017-08-28 23:38
A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream — the unforgettable story of a Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now a novel beloved by several generations of readers is a major dramatic television series, and it comes riding a wave of interest, after the election of President Donald Trump.
This story is republished from The Establishment , a publication that believes conversation is much more interesting when everyone has a voice. Media funded and run by women, The Establishment features new content daily.
For all the talk of The Handmaid’s Tale ’s equal parts exquisite and disturbing look into the future, there’s one area in which the television adaptation departs from an otherwise fairly close reading of Atwood’s original text: race. It’s also the area that suffers from a lack of deep interrogation of how to make such a change realistic in a series that has been commended for, and that prides itself on, a vision of the world that feels all too possible.
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It was almost three on a hot summer afternoon. All sixteen pumps were being used, Baum had traffic, and we were understaffed. I was one of two cashiers standing inside an octagon-shaped counter with four registers. The assistant manager said he’d watch my line while I cleaned, but that was wishful thinking. The gas station was too busy for managers to stand still. My mission was clear: clean the men’s room and return before the other cashier was overwhelmed by customers.
Today, the fight for equality continues, as International Women’s Day kicks off around the globe. The day will highlight the range of economic, political and social achievements made by women, as well as opening up the discussion on how we can forge a more inclusive world for the next generation.
When I heard that, I pictured a combination of things I had already cleaned up: an overflowing toilet, soiled underwear, and used needles. I pulled a mop bucket filled with hot, soapy water into the men’s room and looked around. I was incredulous. That guy had said “big-time.” Paper towels dotted the tile floor, a pile of toilet paper sat next to the toilet in the lone stall, the ground was wet around the urinal, and there were tar marks from dirty shoes. Did it need to be cleaned? Absolutely. But right now? I usually hit the bathrooms before my break, after the afternoon rush had died. This “big-time” mess didn’t warrant a change in routine.