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Margaret Atwood writing sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale'

Atwood said she drew inspiration for her new novel from readers' questions and "the world we've been living in."
Image: Author Margaret Atwood poses during the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto
Author Margaret Atwood at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 11, 2018.Fred Thornhill / Reuters file

The novel that inspired an Emmy-winning television series, "The Handmaid's Tale," is getting a sequel more than 30 years after its publication.

Author Margaret Atwood announced on Twitter on Wednesday that she is writing a sequel to her 1985 dystopian novel to be titled "The Testaments." The sequel will begin 15 years after the main character, Offred, escapes the state of Gilead, in which women have lost their rights and are dominated completely by men.

"Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book," Atwood said. "Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in."

Image: The Handmaids Tale Season 2
Offred reckons with the consequences of a dangerous decision while haunted by memories from her past and the violent beginnings of Gilead.George Kraychyk / Hulu

"The Testaments" is set to be released in September 2019, according to Atwood.

"The Handmaid's Tale" novel, which differs in some ways from the TV show, presents a world in which women are forced into various roles including as child-bearers for infertile, elite couples. The novel was adapted for TV in 2017 by the streaming service Hulu.

Since the show began, many women activists have used the handmaid's uniform of a red dress and white bonnet in political protests. One group of women stood in the costumes outside a congressional confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that featured testimony by him and Christine Blasey Ford, who testified that he had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.