Margaret Atwood will celebrate the publication of The Handmaid’s Tale sequel, The Testaments (Chatto & Windus), with a live global cinema event in September followed by a six-date tour across UK and Ireland in October and November.
On 9th September the author will appear at a midnight opening at Waterstones Piccadilly followed by a live appearance across stage and screens the next day, when The Testaments is published, in an event organised by Fane Productions. ‘Margaret Atwood: Live in Cinemas’ will be broadcast to more than 1,000 cinemas across the globe, including cinemas throughout the UK, US and Canada, with delayed screenings planned in Australia and New Zealand.
The event will be filmed live from the Lyttelton stage of the National Theatre in central London with broadcaster and author Samira Ahmed interviewing Atwood about her career and why she has returned to her handmaid story 34 years on. Special guests will be announced later, Chatto & Windus said.
“I am delighted that the launch of The Testaments will take place not only in London on 10th September, but also by live-streaming to over 1000 cinemas around the world," Atwood said. "I can’t be in all the places at once in my analogue body, but I look forward to being with so many readers via the big screen.”
Alex Fane, of Fane Productions, commented: “To launch her new novel on an unprecedented global scale feels like a fitting gesture for such an innovative author whose work speaks to so many.”
The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale was announced last November. Becky Hardie, deputy publishing director of Chatto & Windus, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown.
The cover was revealed in January, featuring a design by Noma Bar, who worked on The Handmaid’s Tale hardcover reissue. The cover shows the red Handmaid’s colour palette switched out for a bold green and features the figures of two women and the book will retail at £20.
The Testaments will be published simultaneously by Penguin Random House across the English-speaking world, by Chatto & Windus/Vintage in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India, as well as in the UK; by McClelland & Stewart in Canada; and by Nan A. Talese/Knopf Doubleday in the US.
First published in 1985 by Vintage imprint Jonathan Cape, The Handmaid’s Tale was shortlisted for the 1986 Booker Prize and is an A-level curriculum text in the UK.
Tickets for the cinema event and tour go on sale on Friday (8th March) from 10am. For more information on the cinema showings, visit margaretatwoodlive.com ( additional venues and international countries to be confirmed).
For more information on the tour, visit faneproductions.com/atwood/.