New Atwood novel 'The Testaments' revisits dystopian world

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    Judi Lynn
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    Jill Lawless, Associated Press
    Updated 2:54 pm CDT, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

    LONDON (AP) — Margaret Atwood often gets asked if “The Testaments,” her sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is set in a dystopian world.

    “Let us hope so,” she says drily.

    The Canadian author noted as her new novel was published with a ferocious blast of publicity Tuesday that several U.S. states recently enacted laws to limit women’s reproductive rights. She likened it to the extreme control over women in Gilead, the theocratic future United States where both “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Testaments” are set.

    “If you look at the legislative moves made by a number of different states within the United States, you can see that some of them are almost there,” Atwood said at London’s British Library during a publication-day news conference.

    When “The Handmaid’s Tale” was published in 1985, some readers found the idea of a fundamentalist state supplanting the democratic United States far-fetched. Now, with authoritarianism on the rise around the world, it strikes many as eerily prescient.


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