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Margaret Atwood Is Reportedly Writing A Sequel To The Handmaid's Tale

Under her eye.

The television adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale has already moved on from Margaret Atwood's original novel of the same name. But the Canadian author of the dystopian classic has now penned her own follow-up; The Testaments will be published on September 10, 2019, by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.

The Handmaid's Tale was originally published over thirty years ago, in 1985; it tells the story of a future version of the United States called Gilead where fertile women are enslaved by government officials and forcibly raped in order to provide children for the ruling class. In less than a year, we may finally be able to discover what happened to Offred and her fellow handmaids. The sequel is set 15 years after Offred's final scene in the novel.

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Given the critical success of the Hulu TV show, which stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred, there's some question about how closely the sequel and the series will be related. But in a release, the publisher stated, "The Testaments is not connected to the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale." Atwood added, "Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in."

That's a little alarming, but not surprising. The Handmaid's Tale has been lauded for its representation of a misogynistic and totalitarian society, and Atwood has said that much of the novel is based on historical fact. In the New York Times she wrote, "So many different strands fed into The Handmaid’s Tale—group executions, sumptuary laws, book burnings, the Lebensborn program of the SS and the child-stealing of the Argentine generals, the history of slavery, the history of American polygamy...the list is long."

original article by Estelle Tang

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