More than three decades after the publication of her most recognised work, Margaret Atwood has announced that she is writing a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale to be released in 2019.
The new novel, titled The Testaments, will be set 15 years after Offred's final scene in the 1985 original text. Narrated by three women, readers will finally get to discover what happened when (spoiler alert if, for some reason, you haven't read it yet) the door of the van slammed shut behind Offred and she was taken away to a different life, whatever that may have been.
Image credit: Mauro Rico / Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación
The feminist text, which depicted life in a dystopian future America renamed Gilead, where woman
had next to no rights and 'handmaids' were kept in the home for breeding purposes, is still thought to be as relevant as ever in modern day life, despite being published 33 years ago.
The Testaments is expected to be equally as important, particularly with the current political situation in America.
Penguin Books, which will publish The Testaments, said: "Since the election of Donald Trump as US President, Handmaids
have become a symbol of women’s rights, standing against misogyny. Now, we can reveal that Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel."
Back in June 2017, supporters of Planned Parenthood in America gathered in Washington to protest a healthcare bill, donned in the recognisable red capes and white bonnets to represent their view that they had been stripped of their rights. More recently, the handmaids also made an appearance at Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing in September this year.
Atwood, talking about The Testaments, said, "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."
We can only wonder, therefore, the effect that Atwood will have with the sequel to her bestseller as we eagerly anticipate September next year.
Lead Image credit: Mauro Rico / Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación