At­wood writ­ing se­quel to Hand­maid’s Tale


More than three decades af­ter The Hand­maid’s Tale hit shelves, Cana­dian lit­er­ary great Mar­garet At­wood is writ­ing a se­quel to the timely dystopian tale, which she says is partly in­spired by “the world we’ve been liv­ing in.”

The Tes­ta­ments will be pub­lished “across the English-speak­ing world” on Sept. 10, 2019, Toronto-based pub­lisher Mcclel­land & Ste­wart said Wed­nes­day.

First re­leased in 1985, “The Hand­maid’s Tale” was short­listed for the Man Booker Prize and won a Gover­nor Gen­eral’s Award with its look at a to­tal­i­tar­ian so­ci­ety in which women are treated as a prop­erty of the state. Eight mil­lion copies have been sold glob­ally in the English lan­guage.

The story in­spired the hit Emmy Award-win­ning se­ries of the same name, star­ring Elis­a­beth Moss as pro­tag­o­nist Of­fred, who is en­slaved in a com­man­der’s house­hold and forced to bear chil­dren for him and his in­fer­tile wife.

The se­ries, which de­buted in 2017 and airs on Bravo in Canada and Hulu in the United States, is shot in Toronto and has helped push the book back onto the New York Times best­seller list. Other cast mem­bers in­clude English ac­tor Joseph Fi­ennes as the com­man­der, and Amanda Brugel of Pointe Claire, Que., as a prom­i­nent house­hold ser­vant in the Re­pub­lic of Gilead.

“The Tes­ta­ments” is set 15 years af­ter Of­fred’s fi­nal scene in “The Hand­maid’s Tale” and is nar­rated by three fe­male char­ac­ters, said McClel­land & Ste­wart.

“Dear Read­ers: Ev­ery­thing you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its in­ner work­ings is the in­spi­ra­tion for this book. Well, al­most ev­ery­thing!” At­wood, who lives in Toronto, said Wed­nes­day in a state­ment.

“The other in­spi­ra­tion is the world we’ve been liv­ing in.”


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