Margaret Atwood doesn't let the bastards grind her down, and she doesn't let 30 years stop her from diving back into The Handmaid's Tale. The author of the dystopian classic announced on Wednesday morning that she's writing a sequel to the 1985 novel titled The Testaments.
"Yes indeed to those who asked: I’m writing a sequel to The #HandmaidsTale," Atwood wrote on Twitter. "#TheTestaments is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene and is narrated by three female characters. It will be published in Sept 2019."
According to The Guardian, the book will be separate from the events of the Hulu TV series, which adapted the original novel and continued Offred's story past the book's ambiguous ending. In fact, it looks like maybe Offred won't be appearing in The Testaments at all, however the details of the three female protagonists are still unknown.
"As a society, we’ve never needed Margaret Atwood more," Becky Hardie, deputy publishing director at Chatto & Windus, a London imprint of Random House, said according to the Guardian. "The moment the van door slams on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the most brilliantly ambiguous endings in literature. I cannot wait to find out what’s been going on in Atwood’s Gilead – and what that might tell us about our own times."
The Handmaid's Tale has renewed relevance in our current political climate, with the U.S. currently under an administration that is against abortion and other women's rights.
"In the book, Margaret calls it the new normal,” Elisabeth Moss, who plays Offred in the Hulu series, told the Guardian earlier this year. “It’s a line that Aunt Lydia says – this will all be normal to you one day. That’s scary to me."
Fifteen years after the book's original events, what will Gilead look like? Did the handmaids successfully overthrow the oppressive government? Or have things only gotten worse?
The Testaments is due out September 2019.