It’s no secret that we’re beyond buzzed about the upcoming 10-part series The Handmaid’s Tale (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo, starting April 30). The story, which is based on the 1985 novel by Canadian treasure Margaret Atwood, has been one of our favourites since we read it in school.
But what’s even more exciting is that, after roughly three decades, Atwood may actually be headed back to her fictional world of Gilead in order to write a sequel. And we really, really hope that happens.
Let’s back up a second, shall we? On April 4, Atwood released a special edition of the audio version of The Handmaid’s Tale (narrated by Claire Danes) on Audible. In it, she updated the book’s original ending in the chapter “Historical Notes.”
For years, Professor Pieixoto’s futuristic lecture about Gilead, following its fall and how the tapes with the recording of Offred’s tale were found, ended with, “Are there any questions?” But now, Atwood has decided to revisit that ending by scripting 10 questions and answers as a follow-up in the special release.
In one of the questions, a lecture attendee asks the professor if there have been any more documents uncovered in recent years, perhaps from the Mayday resistance, that could provide further clues about life in Gilead. It’s here that Professor Pieixoto makes what we construed as a potential announcement from Atwood herself:
“We have indeed made some fresh discoveries but not yet at liberty to share them,” he says, revealing that first he needs to verify their authenticity. He doesn’t want a repeat of a supposedly bogus release of “Aunt Lydia’s Logbook.”
Okay, so it’s a small clue and maybe nothing to freak out about…yet.
So, what are we freaking out about then? Well, at the end of the Q&A session, the professor alludes to unearthed materials again: “I hope to be able to present the results of our further Gileadian investigations to you at some future date.”
Obviously, we couldn’t ignore this. To us, it sounds like a potential Handmaid’s sequel is indeed in the works, and it could focus on a whole new character as he or she attempts to survive and protest in the totalitarian regime of Gilead. So, we asked the author herself what it all means.
“I am in consultation with the Professor, but he is being very cagey about this.”
“I am in consultation with the Professor, but he is being very cagey about this,” Atwood told us. “He evidently doesn’t want to make any promises before he has finished authenticating his new discoveries.”
So, basically, she’s telling us there’s a chance.
If you ask us, a sequel makes perfect sense: We pretty much know that the TV series is going to be a huge hit, given all the buzz the show has gotten ahead of its release. Women have even shown up to congressional meetings in the handmaids’ costumes Atwood wrote about in the book. And, speaking of the book, it’s become a best-seller all over again as the anticipation for the series builds.
Yup, now would be a great time for a sequel. So, here’s hoping that Atwood has indeed dreamed up a whole new story for us, because we couldn’t be more ready.
But for now, The Handmaid’s Tale premieres in Canada on Bravo on April 30 at 9 p.m. ET.