Back in November, it was announced that acclaimed author Margaret Atwood, whose classic dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale has already been turned into an award-winning television series, would be writing a sequel to the book, titled The Testaments.
The book is set to be published on Sept. 10, and now there’s officially a cover:
Atwood shared the news on her Twitter account, along with a press release that explained Noma Bar, who designed the hardcover reissue of The Handmaid’s Tale, is the one behind the 2019 cover.
Atwood said in the release, “It can’t have been easy, but he came through with a cover that is fresh and intriguing: within an apparently simple double image, there are hidden figures to be discovered – just as in the book. I hope you like it as much as I do.” One of those “hidden figures” can be seen right above the title, where there’s a small silhouette of a woman with a ponytail.
The sequel will take place 15 years after the final scene of the original book. While the television show has moved the story beyond what lies in The Handmaid’s Tale, the sequel is not connected and will be Atwood’s take on the future of Gilead, the totalitarian America where the story takes place. In The Handmaid’s Tale, readers learn that in Gilead, life for fertile women is traumatic—they are forcibly raped and made to give birth for the ruling class—and the book ends without a clear answer of what happens to the main character, Offred.
In a press release, Atwood said, “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.”