The Hand­maid’s Tale con­tin­ues

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page -

Kayli Van Der Meer ar­ranges the re­main­ing copies of Mar­garet At­wood’s The Tes­ta­ments that were avail­able at Books & Com­pany early Tues­day morn­ing. Sales were brisk for the fol­low up novel to At­wood’s hit novel The Hand­maid’s Tale at the store on the first day of re­lease. For more on the in­ter­na­tional re­lease of the book,

Cana­dian read­ers have long won­dered about the in­ner work­ings of the dystopian world in The Hand­maid’s Tale – and now they’re get­ting their an­swers.

Copies of Mar­garet At­wood’s The Tes­ta­ments were fly­ing off the shelves within min­utes after Indigo’s mid­town Toronto lo­ca­tion opened its doors Tues­day morn­ing.

Among those first in line was Indigo CEO Heather Reis­man, who even be­fore read­ing the se­quel, had anointed it her pick of the month.

Reis­man said she turned down an of­fer to get a sneak peek at the book so she could join other Cana­di­ans in cel­e­brat­ing the homegrown au­thor’s mo­ment in the global spot­light.

“We’re ex­cited about the book, and we’re even more ex­cited to be able to claim (At­wood) as ours,” said Reis­man.

“She is am­bi­tious in a way that al­lows her to be on the world stage, and I think that’s how we want to think of Cana­di­ans.”

Stacks of the book, jack­eted with the sil­hou­ette of a hand­maid clad in a green cloak, were strewn through­out the store. Even more pre-or­dered copies were stowed away in boxes be­hind the checkout counter.

“Some­one came in for a book not by At­wood,” one em­ployee joked. “Do we even have any of those?”

Fear­ing the much-hyped se­quel would sell out, 47-year-old Rob Small rushed to the store to pick one off the shelves.

Small, who works at a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion clinic, said some of his clients were so ea­ger to crack open a copy of The Tes­ta­ments, they were plan­ning to camp out­side of book­stores.

“It’s so good to see, con­sid­er­ing what’s go­ing on in the world, a fe­male Cana­dian writer that’s up in the fore­front,” said Small. “It makes me proud to be Cana­dian.”

The Tes­ta­ments was the num­ber-one best­seller on Ama­zon.ca on Tues­day, with its 1985 pre­de­ces­sor rank­ing among the top 10.

Han­nah Skin­ner, 28, said she felt “re­lieved” to fi­nally have the novel in her hands as she picked up her pre-or­dered copy at Indigo. Skin­ner said she’d been avoid­ing so­cial me­dia for fear of hav­ing the story spoiled by some Ama­zon cus­tomers who re­ceived early copies.

While At­wood was ring­ing in the book’s launch in Lon­don, Eng­land, some Cana­di­ans have tick­ets to see the on the big screen Tues­day evening.

At­wood’s celebrity-stud­ded evening gala taped in Lon­don was set to be broad­cast to 1,300 movie the­atres around the world, in­clud­ing Cine­plex the­atres across Canada.

Since its pub­li­ca­tion 34 years ago, The Hand­maid’s Tale has be­come one of Canada’s best­selling lit­er­ary ex­ports.

It has also been adapted into an Emmy Award-win­ning TV se­ries, and adopted as prophecy by women’s rights pro­test­ers around the world who don the hand­maids’ red cloaks and bon­nets.

The story is set in the theo­cratic state of Gilead, which hav­ing stripped women of their rights, es­tab­lishes a class of fer­tile “hand­maids” forced to bear chil­dren for the regime’s elite com­man­ders.

CIT­I­ZEN PHOTO BY BRENT BRAATEN

CP PHOTO

Cana­dian au­thor Mar­garet At­wood speaks to mod­er­a­tor Nam Ki­wanuka dur­ing a chat along­side Twit­ter chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jack Dorsey in Toronto in April.

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