In The Handmaid's Tale, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War and the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead's Commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. In The Testaments, set more than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, The Republic of Gilead maintains its repressive grip on power, but it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women come together, with potentially explosive results.
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Margaret Eleanor Atwood (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Since 1961, she has published seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, ten books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children's books, and one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction (2019). As a novelist and poet, Atwood's works encompass a variety of themes including gender and identity, religion and myth, the power of language, climate change, and "power politics". Many of her poems are inspired by myths and fairy tales.