‘The Testaments’

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Phrases like ‘the literary event of the year’ get bandied about like nobody’s business these days. When you see even E. L. James latest ‘thrilling new romance’ described as such you know just how little value one can reasonably place on such things. Plot twist, Brenda – it isn’t. When, however, Margaret Atwood releases the sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – incontrovertibly one of the most extraordinary pieces of fiction ever written then perhaps we might be forgiven for being just a touch hyperbolic in our excitement. ‘The Testaments’ picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. We absolutely love Atwood for her politics and her insight. When the original was published in 1985, it appeared that the type of patriarchy and theocracy she wrote about was mere fiction, but it doesn’t take more than a cursory glance at the news – especially that coming out of America – to see that she wasn’t merely projecting into the future she was actually predicting it. ‘The Testaments is bound to be terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure. It comes out on Sept 10th and we cannot wait.

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