NPR

Why Margaret Atwood Said 'No' To A 'Handmaid's Tale' Sequel — Until Now

Atwood wasn't interested in a Handmaid's Tale sequel because she didn't have anything more to say about its protagonist. But in The Testaments, she takes the story in a surprising new direction.
Source: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

Margaret Atwood has written a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale — that sentence alone will move millions of readers to buy the book ASAP.

The final act of that book, published in 1985, saw its unnamed heroine Offred (at least, that wasn't her real name), step off the pages and into the unknown.

The new book is The Testaments, and it returns us, 15 years later, to the fictional totalitarian theocracy of Gilead, with its Handmaids, Marthas, Wives, Commanders and Aunts.

Atwood says it just. And then we turned around and started going back toward it, ominously close in many parts of the world. And I felt it was possibly time to revisit the question of, how do regimes like Gilead end? Because we know from that it did end."

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