Prayaag Akbar’s "Leila" and Margaret Atwood’s "The Handmaid’s Tale"

A Study on Dystopian Intersections




Dystopia, totalitarianism, regimentation, past, Atwood, Akbar


The turbulent historical period we are currently going through seems to have stimulated the production and publication of an overflowing number of dystopian narratives, which gravitate around a wide array of different topics. The publication of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, now turned into one of the most successful TV shows of the decade, has become a link between Zamyatin, Huxley and Orwell’s pioneering works and the latest publications in the field, among which Prayaag Akbar’s Leila stands as a most significant contribution. This paper, which is informed by the illuminating approaches of Atwood scholars and Indian dystopian theorists, will seek to trace a number of intersections between Atwood’s masterpiece and Akbar’s opera prima, focusing on the authors’ takes on some of the tropes that build up the dystopian atmosphere of these novels. Thus, this article will primarily delve into the constraining effects of regimentation, especially for the female protagonists of these works, and the manipulation of the past, as they are the source of profoundly illuminating common grounds.



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Author Biography

Juan Francisco Elices Agudo, University of Alcalá

Department of Modern Philology

Senior Lecturer of English Literature

Head of the Language Centre

University of Alcalá


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How to Cite

Elices Agudo, J. F. (2023). Prayaag Akbar’s "Leila" and Margaret Atwood’s "The Handmaid’s Tale": A Study on Dystopian Intersections. Journal of English Studies, 21, 19–34.