'Handmaid's Tale' Sequel Announced by Margaret Atwood: 'The Testaments'

Canadian author Margaret Atwood has announced she planned to publish a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale next year.

Atwood said on Twitter that the new book, titled The Testaments, will be published in September 2019. That's more than 30 years after the original iconic 1985 novel about life in a dystopian future U.S. in which women's bodies are treated as property of the state.

"Yes indeed to those who asked: I'm writing a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale," Atwood said in a Twitter statement on Wednesday.

Margaret Atwood attends the Hammer Museum 16th Annual Gala in the Garden with generous support from South Coast Plaza at the Hammer Museum on October 14, in Los Angeles. Atwood announced a sequel to her iconic 1985 novel "The Handmaid's Tale'" will be published in September 2019. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Hammer Museum

Rather than following Hulu's Emmy-winning television adaptation starring Elisabeth Moss, The Testaments will pick up 15 years after the final scene in the original novel and will focus on the stories of three female characters, Atwood said.

It is still unknown who the three characters will be and whether one of them will be Offred, who is played by Moss in the hit TV show.

Yes indeed to those who asked: I’m writing a sequel to The #HandmaidsTale. #TheTestaments is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene and is narrated by three female characters. It will be published in Sept 2019. More details: https://t.co/e1umh5FwpX pic.twitter.com/pePp0zpuif

— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) November 28, 2018

In her Twitter post, Atwood included a statement telling fans that "everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book," with Gilead being the regime that rises to power in the U.S. and forces fertile women, called "handmaids," into becoming child-bearers for the infertile elite in The Handmaid's Tale.

"The other inspiration," Atwood wrote, however, "is the world we've been living in."

Since President Donald Trump's election, sales of Atwood's dystopian classic have surged, with many drawing comparisons between Trump's administration and Gilead.

Recently, protesters also donned the red cape and white bonnet outfits worn by women in the book to rally against policies and figures, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who pro-choice advocates view as posing a threat to women's reproductive rights.

Women dressed as characters from the novel-turned-TV series 'The Handmaid's Tale' line up before Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh starts the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 4, 2018. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

In addition to The Handmaid Tale's apparent political relevance, Atwood's 1985 novel has also seen a surge in sales due to Hulu's hit series.

For many, news of a sequel to the iconic tale may not come as much of a surprise.

Fans have anticipated the possibility of a second book after Atwood released an audiobook of The Handmaid's Tale, which included an extended version of the epilogue, hinting at the possibility of a continuation of the story, with a professor telling a crowd: "I hope to be able to present the results of our further Gileadian investigations to you at some future date."