Margaret Atwood announces sequel to her dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, titled The Testament

Margaret Atwood said the book is inspired by all the questions that people have about the fictional dystopian place Gilead and its inner workings

FP Staff November 29, 2018 08:55:34 IST
Margaret Atwood announces sequel to her dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, titled The Testament

Margaret Atwood, whose books have found a new cultural relevance in the #MeToo era, is coming up with a sequel to her most famous dystopian novel, The Handmaids Tale.

Titled The Testaments, the story is set 15 years after Offred's final scene and is narrated by three female characters. It will be published in September 2019, Atwood wrote on Twitter.

The Canadian author said the book is inspired by all the questions that people have about Gilead, a fictional dystopian place where women have no rights and are treated like baby-making machines.

"Everything you have ever asked about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book well, almost everything. The other inspiration is the world we have been living in," Atwood tweeted.

Handmaids Tale, starring Elizabeth Moss as Offred, has been adapted successfully for television. The iconic red outfit with white bonnets that handmaids wear in the book has emerged as one of the most popular feminist symbols of protest.

Becky Hardie, Deputy Publisher of Chatto & Windus said, "As a society, we’ve never needed Margaret Atwood more."

"I cannot wait to find out what’s been going on in Atwood’s Gilead ­– and what that might tell us about our own times," she added.

The Handmaid's Tale, first published by VINTAGE imprint Jonathan Cape in 1985 was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and is a part of curriculum material at several school in the United Kingdom. Following the TV adaptation of the novel starring Elizabeth Moss in 2017, the book was back on the Sunday Times bestseller list for 16 weeks. Atwood went on to win the Booker in 2000 for The Blind Assassin.

Another one of her works, Alias Grace, a fictionalised account of the 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Canada West, has also been turned into a critically-acclaimed adaptation on Netflix. The book is told from the point of view of Grace Marks, a servant who was convicted of the crime alongside James McDermott.

The Testament will be published on 10 September, 2019 by Chatto & Windus, an imprint of VINTAGE.

(With inputs from the Press Trust of India)

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