Atwood dropped the news Monday that she's working on a followup to her celebrated novel, titled The Testaments, which takes place a decade and a half after Offred's final moments in the original book. On Twitter, Atwood teased that it will be narrated by three female characters.
News was initially released by Atwood through social media on her Twitter account, which has nearly two million followers, and through her publisher, Penguin Random House.
Atwood said she was inspired to write the sequel by questions she's been asked about the story's fictional setting of Gilead, but also by "the world we've been living in". I'd rather get more of Atwood's take on Gilead than I would the Hulu adaptation's, which has gone from feminist commentary to a commodification of female pain. "Well, nearly everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in". The Handmaid's Tale was first published in 1985 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and a film was made in 1990.
"The Handmaid's Tale" has been touted as an eerily prescient cautionary tale as protests and marches about the rollback of women's rights have unfolded in various parts of the world since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.More news: The real story behind Melania's White House Christmas decorations
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"Margaret Atwood's rule for herself when writing "The Handmaid's Tale" was that everything had to be based on some real-world antecedent".
It was adapted for television in 2017, and the book was launched back onto the bestsellers lists, where it has stayed for nearly two years. Eight million copies have been sold globally in the English language. The TV series was an nearly instant success, winning six Emmy awards and with its third season of series now in production. The book spent 88 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list after the show premiered in 2017.
The new book comes out on September 10, 2019, with a first printing of 500,000 copies.