Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale’’ — a dystopian novel about women living under an oppressive government, who are forced to bear children for couples who can’t have their own — announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that the story will continue in a new book.
“Yes indeed to those who asked: I’m writing a sequel to The #HandmaidsTale,’’ Atwood wrote.
According to the author, the book will be called “The Testaments,’’ and will be set 15 years after the final scene for the book’s protagonist, Offred, in the first novel.
Atwood told fans on Twitter that the new novel will be “narrated by three female characters,’’ and will be published next September.
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. More details: https://t.co/e1umh5FwpX pic.twitter.com/pePp0zpuif
— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) November 28, 2018
Atwood’s tweet on Wednesday included a short video describing why she’s publishing the sequel.
“Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead,’’ the fictional setting in the book, “and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book,’’ she said in a statement. “Well almost everything!’’
The other inspiration?
Many others, like author Stephen King, have drawn parallels between current political events and Atwood’s classic novel.
The red cloaks and white caps worn by the women in Atwood’s alternate reality have been worn in recent months by protesters who are concerned about the Trump administration’s attitudes toward women’s rights.
“The Handmaid’s Tale,’’ which is set in New England, was first published in 1985. The book reemerged as a popular read in the last few years when it was turned into a series on Hulu, starring Elisabeth Moss.
In the second season, scenes are set at Logan International Airport, where ICE agents are stationed; a decrepit Fenway Park; The Boston Globe’s former Morrissey Boulevard headquarters; and mentions of the Alewife MBTA station, Somerville’s Davis Square, Quincy, and Marlbehead, to name a few local ties.
Fans of Atwood’s book were excited to learn that a second installment of the story is on its way.
“Cannot wait cannot wait cannot wait,’’ one person tweeted to the author on Wednesday.
Even the Twitter account for the Hulu series weighed in with this: “Is it September yet???????????’’
Is it September yet???????????
— The Handmaid's Tale (@HandmaidsOnHulu) November 28, 2018