And the answer: Margaret Atwood.
Published in 2019, The Testaments is a sequel to the author’s best-known work, The Handmaid’s Tale. As a consulting producer for the Hulu series, Margaret Atwood chose to set this sequel 16 years into the future of Gilead to avoid discrepancies with the show.
Margaret Atwood has been a significant literary voice for over half a century. Before she was writing award-winning novels like The Handmaid’s Tale, however, young Atwood actually aspired to be a painter. She grew up in the far northern woods of Quebec, where her father’s entomological research led her to a love of painting and birds. Though Atwood ultimately chose a different creative venture, the author has designed many of the Canadian covers for her books of poetry.
Although Atwood’s texts delve into futuristic, somewhat dystopian landscapes, Atwood actually resists the phrase “science fiction” when discussing her work. Evidently, the author prefers the term “speculative fiction,” while thinking the phrase "science fiction" should instead focus on space travel and extraterrestrials.
Did you know?
The Handmaid’s Tale is dedicated to one of Atwood’s ancestors that was accused of being a witch! Mary Webster was one of the first women accused of witchcraft in New England in the 17th century. When she was sixty years old, she was accused and brought to a jury in Boston on “suspicion of witchcraft.” She was found not guilty at the time. A year later, Philip Smith, a hypochondriac and judge in the town of Hadley, accused Webster again, but miraculously, Webster survived her corporal punishment. Certainly well worth a book dedication!
Learn more about Atwood’s career and influence here.