TORONTO – Margaret Atwood delighted fans of The Handmaid’s Tale this week with the announcement that she is currently penning a sequel. However, the prolific Canadian author quickly clarified that the upcoming novel will simply be the old one with additional typographical emphasis on particularly allegorical passages.
“I honestly couldn’t believe this was necessary,” Atwood mused. “However the last few years have shown me that I need to really highlight the fact that dystopian regimes are bad. Did people just not get it the first time? Was I too subtle with my depictions of forced birthing rituals and relentless governmental subjugation? I thought I was fairly obvious about the dangers of being blind to encroaching political tyranny, but all it takes is five minutes watching the news to prove me wrong. So here you go, readers, just try and ignore all the new bolded font whenever Commander Waterford rambles on about the wonders of glorified rape ceremonies. Just. Try.”
In addition to underlined exclamation points every time main character Offred points out the misogyny of the patriarchal culture she is trapped in, the revised edition will also offer Atwood’s own footnotes.
“As you can see here,” explained editor Angela Harper, pointing to the paragraph where the Handmaids’ puritanical red outfits are first described. “She has added a note that says ‘For the love of God, STOP making sexy Halloween costumes of this, what is hell wrong with you people?’ I really think it will add a delightful personal touch, and remove any trace of subtlety, nuance, or potential for anyone to misinterpret the point of the the novel.”
“Lines such as ‘Freedom, like everything else, is relative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ find a newfound effectiveness because of said exclamation points. I really think Margaret will be satisfied this time around.”
At press time, Atwood was in talks to record an audiobook of the new version, complete with off-the-cuff rants and a downloadable PowerPoint presentation on why using cattle prods on pregnant women is wrong.