Hulu’s grim, affecting The Handmaid’s Tale was renewed for a third season this past May, but it now appears the dispiriting realm of Gilead will roll on off the screen as well. Margaret Atwood, who penned the award-winning tome upon which the series is based, announced on Wednesday morning that she’s got her own sequel in the works. Called The Testaments, it will be set 15 years after the end of the first novel and published in September of 2019.
“Yes indeed to those who asked: I’m writing a sequel to The #HandmaidsTale,” Atwood wrote on Twitter. “#TheTestaments is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene and is narrated by three female characters. It will be published in Sept 2019.”
Accompanying it is a short clip setting a quote from Atwood against some glitchy atmospherics. “Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything!” it reads. “The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.”
See it below:
Set in a dystopian future where the U.S. has been refashioned as a totalitarian and theocratic country called Gilead, the story follows a band of women, dubbed “handmaids,” who are enslaved and exploited for their fertility. Atwood herself credits the 1985 novel’s modern success with the rise of the Trump presidency and what many deem to be an regressive, anti-women agenda, and the global trend of women donning the series’ signature garb to protests is evidence enough to show she’s not wrong.
Atwood doesn’t mention whether or not the series itself will impact the events of her novel, but, for us viewers, it’s probably best to do what we’ve already learned to do with Game Of Thrones, which is view the books and the series as two separate tellings of the same story.