Margaret Atwood, in a statement released on her Twitter account, has announced that she is currently writing a sequel to her much loved The Handmaid’s Tale, over thirty years after its foundational text was published.
Margaret Atwood’s magnum opus The Handmaid’s Tale will soon be receiving a sequel, with The Testament set for a release of late next year.
Set fifteen years after Offred’s final scene, The Testament will be narrated by three yet-to-be-named female characters. Atwood, who is now 79 years old, let slip that the new book is set to be published in September 2019.
Atwood’s publisher, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday was quick to confirm that The Testament will in no way be affiliated with season two of the television adaption of the original work, which has won six Emmy awards including for Outstanding Drama Series in 2017. Instead, the book will be entirely new material.
Yes indeed to those who asked: I’m writing a sequel to The #HandmaidsTale. #TheTestaments is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene and is narrated by three female characters. It will be published in Sept 2019. More details: https://t.co/e1umh5FwpX pic.twitter.com/pePp0zpuif
— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) November 28, 2018
The landmark novel, published in 1985, follows main character Offred and details her life under totalitarian regime in the fictional Republic of Gilead. Fans have been quick to point out the similarities between the regime of Gilead and the current Trump administration, with others saying the new work will be an incredibly important political text in the era of #MeToo. Some even went so far as questioning whether we were, in fact, already living in the sequel.
Atwood exclaimed that fans’ questions about Gilead provided some inspiration for the new novel, and also stated that her other inspiration “is the world we’ve been living”.
Eager fans will have to wait until next September for The Testament to drop. Until then, it’s time to dust off old copies of The Handmaid’s Tale and catch up on some reading.