Atwood Expands The Handmaid's Tale in New Audiobook
"Are there any questions?"
That was the final sentence of Margaret Atwood's dystopian feminist classic The Handmaid's Tale. But now, just as the novel is being adapted into a 10-part series for Hulu, Atwood has updated the audiobook version of her 1985 work exclusively for Audible.
In The Handmaid's Tale, a violent coup has overthrown the U.S. government and an oppressive new regime, the Republic of Gilead, has taken its place. In this new order, Offred is no longer a free American, but a Handmaid assigned the task of procreation for the Commander and his wife. Offred navigates Gilead's dangers as she records her story.
The original book ends far into the future, the year 2195, as those attending a symposium listen to a historian talk about Offred's tapes and what they can discern from her recordings about life in the now extinct Gilead. The audiobook features a Q&A between the chair of the symposium, the historian, and members of the audience.
While the original text is performed by actress Claire Danes, this addition to the U.S. version of the audiobook is performed by a full cast.
“I’m 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, and even the ‘Historical Notes’ are a voice—so I was excited to extend the story with additional material meant specifically to be heard. … The Handmaid’s Tale is alive, it seems — and like all living things, it grows and multiplies!”
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