In both the novel and the Hulu series, June aka Offred (Elisabeth Moss) has her daughter, Hannah, ripped away from her when she tries to escape The Republic of Gilead, the authoritarian, theocratic regime that has taken over the United States.
Atwood said the new book, "The Testaments", will pursue unresolved narratives in the original 1985 novel, delving into the "inner workings" of the fictional nation of Gilead.
Atwood, a Canadian author, said in a statement that the sequel was inspired by readers' questions about Gilead and by the "world we've been living in".
While the press release didn't specifically mention the president, it noted how "The Handmaid's Tale" had become "a symbol of the movement against him, standing for female empowerment and resistance in the face of misogyny and the rolling back of women's rights around the world". Handmaids are slaves who are forced to be breeders for upper class families after a fertility crisis strikes. "The Testaments" will be Atwood's version of the story.
McClelland & Stewart says "The Testaments" is not connected to the TV series. It will be narrated by three female characters, Atwood shared on Twitter. Whether readers will find out what happens to Offred after the end of The Handmaid's Tale isn't clear.
Although The Handmaid's Tale, George Orwell's 1984 and other classic dystopias have continued to sell very well in the Trump era, modern novels haven't broken through to capture the public's imagination in the same way. Others speculate that she might look at the other roles of women in Gilead society, such as the Wives.