Cape to publish The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel

Cape to publish The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel

Vintage imprint Jonathan Cape will publish the graphic novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale later this month. 

Canadian artist Renée Nault has been working on this new visual interpretation of the 1985 classic for four years. “With the aim of making this edition a standalone work of art, she has brought Atwood’s terrifying modern classic to vivid life as never before,” said the publisher. 

Jonathan Cape will release The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel by Margaret Atwood with art and adaptation by Reneé Nault in the UK in hardback for £20 on Monday 26th March. Dan Franklin acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown. The graphic novel is being published by Doubleday in the US, according to Deadline

A sneak peek at the graphic novel reveals a stark black and white front cover, featuring the distinctive red of the handmaids. 

The release is not Atwood’s first foray into graphic novels. Atwood wrote graphic novel Angel Catbird as an homage to the golden age of comic books and the radio hour thrillers she loved as a child. 

The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, set 15 years after Offred's ambiguous final scene, will be published later this year. The Testaments promises to be a "global publishing event" as it continues Atwood's story from the moment Offred steps into the Eyes' car "into the darkness, within; or else the light". According to Atwood, it was inspired both by fans' questions about Gilead and "the world we've been living in".

Vintage will publish under its Chatto & Windus imprint on 10th September, priced £20, after Becky Hardie, deputy publishing director of Chatto & Windus, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown. 

The graphic novel follows a marked rise in popularity of The Handmaid's Tale (Jonathan Cape) following Donald Trump's 2016 election as well as on the heels of the Emmy Award-winning TV series, starring Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes, that aired in the UK on Channel 4. Through Nielsen BookScan The Handmaid’s Tale has sold 844,128 in print since 1998, across all editions. Meanwhile, according to Vintage, eight million copies have been sold globally in the English language.

Images © 2019 by O.W. Toad / Art by Renée Nault