Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s sequel The Testaments is almost here. The prolific author opens up about the decision to revisit the fictional world of Gilead, her knack for capturing the dark side of history, and her status as a national treasure in TIME magazine.
“Only dead people are allowed to have statues, but I have been given one while still alive. Already I am petrified.”
These are the opening words from The Testaments, the much-hyped sequel to Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Up until now, the book has been tightly embargoed—a fact that didn’t stop it from being short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize (an award she won previously for Alias Grace). Now, for the first time, fans can get a glimpse of the novel ahead of its release, in an excerpt published in The Guardian.
Atwood, to her credit, is a humble recipient of all this attention. In her TIME cover story, the author reminds us that “It’s just a book,” even if it feels like a momentous occasion. Since The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted for television, Atwood’s celebrity has steadily risen, breaking new, international depths. It’s “exhausting,” she says, in true Atwood fashion. Lucy Feldman, author of the TIME profile, writes, “[Atwood] sees her role as the person who drops a flare on the highway—she wrote the new book in part because she worries the world is trending more toward Gilead than away from it.”
Read the full story here.
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