No longer will a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale remain a vaguely hypothetical thing we joke about living through to keep from crying.
Originally published in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale is dystopian fiction queen Margaret Atwood’s magnum opus about the subjugation of women. The novel went on to inspire an Emmy-winning Hulu series in 2017 (now gearing up for its third season), which eerily coincided with creeping authoritarianism in America. Although the TV series has already continued the original story beyond the final pages of its source material, Atwood is now set to reveal the canonical version of subsequent events with her sequel novel, The Testaments, scheduled to be published September 2019. The book will be set 15 years after lead character Offred’s final scene in The Handmaid’s Tale and will be narrated by three female characters.
“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book,” Atwood told the Star Tribune. “Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.”
And there you have it: The general vibe of 2018 is officially dire enough to inspire a Handmaid Tale sequel.