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Praise Be! Margaret Atwood Is Writing a Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

It’s been over three decades since The Handmaid’s Tale was published—and likely a little while since you read the CanLit novel in grade 10 English class—but over the past couple of years, the dystopian world that Margaret Atwood created has come to the forefront of popular culture. Whether it’s an Emmy-winning television series, a sexy Halloween costume, Melania Trump’s 2018 White House Christmas decor, or a global march protesting the erosion of women’s rights and freedoms, the Handmaids’ red cloaks and white bonnets have left the pages of Atwood’s novel, and entered the real world.

Which has lead those of us in real world to ask: Mrs. Atwood, our dear national treasure, can we ever expect The Handmaid’s Tale sequel? (AKA, please tell us what the future holds and let us know everything is going to be okay.) Atwood, who celebrated her 79th birthday earlier this month, took to Twitter to confirm the rumours. She announced that the follow up novel, titled The Testaments, will be released in September 2019 and will take place after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale. According to the Big Brother-esque graphic attached, Atwood was inspired by fan questions about Gilead and its “inner workings” and “the world we’ve been living in.”

The Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale has given us a glimpse at Offred beyond the final chapter in Atwood’s novel, but The Testaments will tell an entirely different story. The upcoming sequel takes place long after the show’s current timeline, set “15 years after Offred’s final scene” in the first book. Here’s hoping the post-Gilead future that Atwood envisions for us is filled with female autonomy!

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