Margaret Atwood will release a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale next year!
This news, which Atwood announced on Twitter this morning to her 1.9 million followers, has spread like wildfire causing booksellers and book-lovers everywhere to lose their minds in excitement.
Yes indeed to those who asked: I’m writing a sequel to The #HandmaidsTale. #TheTestaments is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene and is narrated by three female characters. It will be published in Sept 2019. More details: https://t.co/e1umh5FwpX pic.twitter.com/pePp0zpuif
— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) 28 November 2018
The sequel, which is titled The Testaments, will be set 15 years after the ending of The Handmaid’s Tale – an ending that saw Offred facing an uncertain future. The final words of The Handmaid’s Tale are full of promise, shining with possibility, and yet shadowed by potential doom. It is the kind of ending that sticks in the reader’s mind – the kind that completes a story but leaves the door tantalizingly open for endless speculation.
“ Whether this is my end or a new beginning I have no way of knowing: I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can’t be helped. And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light.” – Margaret Atwood
Now, nearly 34 years after the publication of these powerful words, the story will continue in The Testaments, signalling the end of a very drawn out wait for readers who have long hoped that Atwood might one day return to the world The Handmaid’s Tale. Reportedly featuring three females narrators, The Testaments has been set for publication in September next year. Already it is guaranteed to be one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) publishing events of 2019.
The Handmaid’s Tale has sold over 8 million copies (in English) and has been translated into 40 languages. The popularity of the recent TV series has seen a steady rise in sales over the past few years. It is a story that resonates as powerfully today as it did in 1985 when it was originally published – and some might argue even more so.
Atwood has previously hinted that a sequel might be in the works, however, getting actual confirmation of this as well as a title and a publication date is a very big deal for fans. Suffice to say, there are a lot of ecstatic readers (myself included) doing happy dances across the globe today, potentially clutching their battered copies of The Handmaid’s Tale to their hearts. What? Is that not how you spent your morning?
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood will be published in September 2019 and is available to order from Booktopia.
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The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale
And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light.
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her – freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
About the Contributor
Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling
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