At the end of The Handmaid's Tale, Offred, the protagonist, enters a van where her fate will be decided. Will she escape or will she be captured by the powers-that-be? The answer to that will be revealed in the sequel to the novel, The Testaments, which will release on September 10, 2019.
The Testaments is set 15 years after Offred's final scene in the novel. The book will be narrated by three characters. Margaret Atwood penned The Handmaid's Tale in 1985 and the dystopian novel was nominated for the prestigious Man Booker prize. It's set in Republic of Gilead, a theonomic military dictatorship, a dark world where women are completely stripped of their rights and are only used for domestic and reproductive purposes.
When Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States in 2016, the novel gained more popularity and the 'handmaids' became a symbol of resistance and female empowerment. Netflix's adaption of the novel in 2017 earned it even more fans.
In a statement about The Testaments (to be published by Penguin Random House), Margaret Atwood said, ‘Dear readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in.’
Photograph: Getty Images (Margaret Atwood)