Margaret Atwood: 'Handmaid's Tale' sequel gives four perspectives

By Annie Martin

Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Margaret Atwood is sharing more details about her sequel to The Handmaid's Tale.

The 79-year-old author discussed the book, The Testaments, released Friday, during Thursday's episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers.


Atwood said The Testaments will give four perspectives, including The Handmaid's Tale character Aunt Lydia.

"You get to see it through three, actually four perspectives," the writer said. "You get to see it through the eyes of a young woman who has grown up within Gilead and hasn't known any form of life. You get to see it through a young woman who's grown up across the border from Gilead in the beauteous refugee location of Toronto. So when things go pear-shaped here, that is often the direction in which people move. They have done that many times in history, so they're doing it again."

"Then, we see it through the point of view of somebody who's been a foundational person from the beginning of Gilead, namely Aunt Lydia of the Aunts, whom we see in Handmaid's Tale only from the outside, only through the eyes of the narrator. We know nothing about how she got in that position. So we find her writing her own narrative, her own secret narrative."


Atwood said the outcome of the 2016 presidential election "encouraged" her to write the sequel, released 34 years after The Handmaid's Tale.

"It put wind in my sails," she said of the election. "It encouraged me."

She also confirmed that her books draw on reality.

"Sometime, somewhere, each detail is plucked from reality," she said.

The Handmaid's Tale was adapted as a Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer and Ann Dowd. The show was renewed for a fourth season in July.

Hulu announced this month it is developing The Testaments as a TV series. The Testaments is set 15 years after the end of The Handmaid's Tale.

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