George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel
"1984," Margaret Atwood’s "The Handmaid’s
Tale" — a chilling novel about a society called
Gilead that takes repression of women to new and
terrifying levels — has found new life. Earlier this
year the story of the "handmaiden" Offred
popped up at the top of Amazon’s best-seller list, due
to fears of the new White House administration or
interest in the new Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss
— or possibly both.
Audible.com’s jumping on the bandwagon with an updated
version read by actress Claire Danes that includes
original material written by Atwood. There’s also a
new afterword from the author and an essay about the
book by Valerie Martin.
new part of the story takes place after the novel’s
final line "Are there any questions?" spoken
at a symposium on Gileadian studies in 2195, after the
events of "The Handmaid’s Tale." Atwood adds
the questions the audience might ask.
delighted to see the novel that I wrote over thirty
years ago come alive on new platforms every year,"
Atwood said in a statement. "The roots of my
original book are in audio — Offred’s story was
recorded, not written. … so I was excited to extend
the story with additional material meant specifically to
a member of Audible? You can try a 30-day membership
trial, enough to get you through one book. This could be
the one, if you were so inclined.