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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Margaret Atwood confirms that she is writing a sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale'

The author shared the news on Twitter

Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Michael Tran / FilmMagic
Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Michael Tran / FilmMagic

Canadian author Margaret Atwood has confirmed that she is writing a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. It will be called The Testaments.

In a message posted on Twitter, Atwood wrote: "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."

Above the message is a video, which says: "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."

The Handmaid's Tale, which was published in 1985, is set in the near future in the fictional Republic of Gilead, a theocratic state, which has overthrown the United States government but which is beset by low birth-rates.

As a result, fertile women – or “two-legged wombs” – are effectively enslaved and required to bear children for wealthy couples. These women, known as Handmaids, are closely monitored by a secret police force and are, for the most part, forbidden from leaving the house.

The novel explores the oppression of women within a patriarchy and asks what impact this has on our society.

“Anyone who wants power will try to manipulate you by appealing to your desires and fears, and sometimes your best instincts," says Atwood. "Women must be a little cautious about that kind of appeal to them. What are we being asked to give up?”

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Read more:

Margaret Atwood's famous dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale is available in Arabic - for the first time ever

Interview with author Margaret Atwood

Okechukwu Ofili: ‘Western fairy tales are messing with the minds of black children’

Poet Emtithal Mahmoud on the power of writing and using it to make a difference

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