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Margaret Atwood cautions The Handmaid’s Tale can happen, CBS Sunday Morning preview

Margaret Atwood explains how life informs her art on CBS Sunday Morning. Pic credit: CBS
Margaret Atwood explains how life informs her art on CBS Sunday Morning. Pic credit: CBS

On Hulu’s chilling adaptation and continuation of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, women fall victim to a totalitarian regime.

This regime overthrew the United States government informed by the Christian Bible. The results are horrific in gender suppression and crimes against humanity,

Author Margaret Atwood, in a taped interview for CBS Sunday Morning, said: “I have never believed it can’t happen here.”

In a segment filmed with Ms. Atwood, she tells reporter Martha Teichner: “It’s not me who made this stuff up, the human race did, unfortunately.”

In 1985, Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale unleashed debate about the patriarchal nature of politics infused with religious overtones.

It spawned a film in 1990 starring Robert Duvall as the Commander, and Faye Dunaway cast as Serena Joy. Natasha Richardson played Offred.

Now with the pending sequel, The Testaments, Ms. Atwood said she has a rule. What she pens as atrocities in her books must have had to happen in real life.

What is The Handmaid’s Tale?

The Handmaid’s Tale is a fictionalized account of a dystopian future where toxic pollution has caused worldwide infertility. An extremist religious group in the United States overthrows the government.

In doing so, the rebellious theocrats create Gilead. In Gilead, any sexual deviancy is grounds for extermination, and any women able to bear children become commodities for the well-placed elite.

To the north, Canada serves as a haven and refuge for escapees lucky enough to get across the border.

Now, The Handmaid’s Tale is an adapted television series for Hulu and won an Emmy in 2017.

In an excerpt from CBS Sunday Morning, Ms. Atwood said:

“Simply because I never have believed it can’t happen here,” she says. “I’ve never believed that. And – more and more people are joining me in that lack of belief.”

Atwood tells Teichner she makes “educated guesses” about possibilities. “But I’m not a prophet,” she says. “And if I were any good at gambling I would, I would do that. Be a lot richer.”

What can she say about the Sept. 10 sequel?

“So we know from book one that – that Gilead ends, but we don’t know how,” Atwood says. “But we’re a little closer to knowing how.”

CBS Sunday Morning airs Sundays (Ms. Atwood appears on Sunday, Sept. 8) at 9:00 AM, ET on the CBS Television Network.


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