The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale
In this electrifying sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood answers the question that has tantalised readers for decades: What happened to Offred?
Brought to you by Penguin.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood is read by Ann Dowd, Bryce Dallas Howard and Mae Whitman with Derek Jacobi, Tantoo Cardinal and Margaret Atwood.
Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a modern classic. Now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel. Pre-order today.
More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
‘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.' Margaret Atwood
‘The literary event of the year.’ Guardian
‘A savage and beautiful novel, and it speaks to us today, all around the world, with particular conviction and power… The bar is set particularly high for Atwood and she soars over it’ Peter Florence, Booker Prize Chair of Judges, Guardian
“Clearly the Booker Prize judges got their hands on an early copy, and it looks like it'll most certainly will be worth the wait”
UK Press Sydication
“But the biggest name, with the year’s biggest book, is Margaret Atwood: her Handmaid’s Tale sequel The Testaments”
“A work of brilliant and searing defiance”
“The Testaments is Atwood at her best, in its mixture of generosity, insight and control. The prose is adroit, direct, beautifully turned. All over the reading world, the history books are being opened to the next blank page and Atwood’s name is written at the top of it. To read this book is to feel the world turning”
Anne Enright, Guardian
“The Testaments is a much more accessible book than its brilliant yet forbidding predecessor. At times it races along like a spy thriller written by Charles Dickens, rich in suspense, coincidence and messy humanity… Atwood… has an incredible intellectual nimbleness that challenges us constantly and poses…question[s] that lies like a pearl inside the shell of this frighteningly readable novel”
Allison Pearson, Sunday Telegraph
“One of the year’s big novels will undoubtedly be Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments”
“For my money, the single most exciting publishing event of the year”
“Margaret Atwood has just done her own thing and now she is one of those authors who is helping to change the culture. I love her for her politics. When The Handmaid's Tale was published in 1985, it just seemed that that kind of theocracy and patriarchy she was depicting couldn't happen, the world was progressing, but look where we are”
Jeanette Winterson, Sunday Times
“The book may surprise readers who wondered, when the sequel was announced, whether Atwood was making a mistake in returning to her earlier work. She has said that The Testaments was inspired by readers’ questions about the inner workings of Gilead, and also by “the world we’ve been living in.” But it seems to have another aim as well: to help us see more clearly the kinds of complicity required for constructing a world like the one she had already imagined, and the world we fear our own might become”
Jia Tolentino, New Yorker
“While unflinching in depicting horror and showing how complicity enables the collapse of compassion, The Testaments is also a clarion call to hope, resistance and activism... The Testaments is a formidable achievement that will doubtless be read in decades to come”
Anita Sethi, i news
“It is an addictively readable, fastpaced adventure... the rhyme of reality with fiction is loud and devastatingly clear... In The Testaments, Atwood changes the emphasis of the plot, to strike a note of optimism – a hopeful reminder that resistance is possible and such regimes do eventually always fall”
Holly Williams, Independent
“Finding hope in a hopeless place, this is everything The Handmaid’s Tale fans wanted and more. Prepare to hold your breath throughout, and to cry real tears at the end. My book of the year”
Kayleigh Dray, Stylist
“One of the most eagerly awaited books of the year”
“With surgical clarity, Atwood documents how the stripping of fundamental freedoms, the weight of systemic oppression, pushes individuals to extremes... Atwood had this book in her? The pacing is flawless. The prose is lean, mean, and charged”
David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly
“The Handmaid’s Tale fans, rejoice”
“Atwood’s prose is as powerful as ever, tense and spare... I finished in six hours flat”
Laura Freeman, BBC.com
“We'll be poring over The Handmaid's Tale for the 100th time in readiness”
“It will be one of the literary events of the year”
“A mix of high and low, literary powerhouse and pop-culture icon, filled with homespun wisdom and razor-sharp observation”
Deborah Dundas, Toronto Star
“The very act of writing or recording one’s experiences, Atwood argues, is “an act of hope."... in testifying to what they have witnessed, Offred, Nicole, Agnes and, yes, Lydia are leaving behind accounts that will challenge official Gileadean narratives, and in doing so, they are standing up to the regime’s determination to silence women by telling their own stories in their own voices”
Michiko Katutani, New York Times
“The Testaments take us to a subtly altered Gilead and, in many ways, a more hopeful one... a rallying cry for activism that argues for the connectedness of societies and their peoples... Atwood's task in returning to the world of her best-known work was a big one, but the result is a success that more than justifies her Booker prize shortlisting”
Alex Clark, Guardian
“A confluence of political and cultural forces has made The Testaments as vital as a baby in Gilead”
Ron Charles, Washington Post
“It’s a very diferent novel from The Handmaid’s Tale, charged with the optimism of change rather than drenched in nightmarish sweat... terrific”
Claire Allfree, Metro
“The oppressed feminist shriek of the first novel gets its more optimistic echo in The Testaments... has the dramatic thrust and power to scorch the memory”
Serena Davies, Daily Telegraph
“Like all good dystopian writers, she presents us with a cracked mirror in which we are asked to see distorted images of ourselves”
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Times
“[The Testaments] is gripping and full of incident, a deft balance of horror and wit… As ever, Atwood cuts to the truth about women and power”
Johanna Thomas-Corr, Evening Standard, *Book of the Week*