The Handmaid’s Tale, Continued

With Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale forthcoming, a look at the novel’s impact with Ann Dowd, who plays Aunt Lydia on the Hulu adaptation. Plus, how Louise Erdrich and Megan Hunter also wrote about pregnancy in their dystopian novels.

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Studio 360 is a smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy—so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

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Episode Notes

The cover of Margaret Atwood’s forthcoming sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale
The cover of Margaret Atwood’s forthcoming sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.
Penguin Random House

The Handmaid’s Tale is getting a sequel, The Testaments, so it’s a good time to look at what originally influenced Margaret Atwood and how her book continues to influence others. First, Atwood herself talks about her inspirations for the book—the rise of the Christian right in the 1980s and a woman in New England in the 17th century who was accused of being a witch. Then, Ann Dowd, who portrays the character Aunt Lydia in the Hulu adaptation, talks with Kurt Andersen about how she has spent a career making scary characters so real and recognizable. Finally, Louise Erdrich and Megan Hunter talk about how their dystopian novels also explore the significance of pregnancy.