Abortion curbs led to book: Atwood
Moves to limit women's access to abortion, particularly in the United States, led to The Testaments
By Reuters in London
Canadian author Margaret Atwood said moves to limit women's access to abortion, particularly in the United States, led to the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale which was released on Tuesday in a hotly-anticipated cultural event.
The Testaments sees Atwood pick up the story from her 1985 account of a totalitarian future in which fertile women are forced into sexual servitude to repopulate a world facing environmental disaster. She said she had not planned a sequel to the story, which was set in fictional Gilead in the US region of New England in the near future, but real life political events, including moves to limit women’s reproductive rights, led her to reconsider.
How Margaret Atwood predicted America’s future in The Handmaid’s Tale
Posted by Jean Hannah Edelstein
Published Jun 18, 2019
“If you return to your country of origin, would you be persecuted on the basis of you being a woman?”
On the bank of a dark river, a Canadian customs official speaks these words to a woman who is lying on the ground, drenched in freezing river water, clutching a baby. She has just completed a harrowing near-death journey across the border, and this is part of the script that the officer must recite in order for her to seek refuge in Canada. The woman nods, shivering and frantic. “Do you wish to claim asylum?” the guard asks.