Tag: sequel

Here’s What We Know about ‘The Testaments’

The Testaments, the highly-anticipated sequel to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale earned its spot on the Booker Prize list earlier this week. And despite the fact that The Testaments is going to get a 500,000 copy first print run, there’s been a strict embargo up until now. However, a flurry of reviews came out just last night. So here at Bookstr, we’re breaking down everything we know about The Testaments right here.

 

Image via BBc

 

First off, we know the sequel is set fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale. The original The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a near-future New England, and it tells the story of Offred, a woman forcibly assigned to produce children for the ruling class of men of a theocratic military regime that’s overthrown the U.S. government.

The Testaments, on the other hand, centers around three characters: Agnes, Daisy, and Aunt Lydia. From Danielle Kurtzleben’s review for NPR:

Agnes, a girl in Gilead who from a young age rejects marriage, though her parents intend to marry her to a powerful Commander. Daisy is a Canadian girl repulsed by Gilead, raised by strangely overprotective parents. And Aunt Lydia — yes, that Aunt Lydia — has near-godlike status as one of Gilead’s founding Aunts and spends her days quietly collecting dirt on Commanders and fellow Aunts.

In an interesting turn of events, it seems Aunt Lydia might not be quite the cheerleader she was made out to be in The Handmaid’s Tale. Now that readers get to see Lydia from a different perspective, it seems they’ll get to see a completely different side of her.

 

Image via Daily Express

 

The Testaments plot is NOT connected to the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. The original book, published in 1985, ends roughly where the events of the first season of the adaptation ends. But the Hulu series has pressed on beyond Atwood’s original story. While Atwood’s new novel and the TV series might not be too connected, Atwood builds on key events from the series in the construction of her follow-up — specifically, the foundation that June has laid for the fall of Gilead.

Atwood further expands on the world of Gilead she created nearly thirty-five years earlier. In The Testaments, readers will learn about the Pearl Girls, the Aunt training program in which young girls are sent abroad as missionaries wearing fake pearls. Readers will also discover more about Gilead’s unsettling marriage customs and how the Aunt program even got started.

 

 

In an interview with Atwood for Time magazine, Lucy Feldman writes:

[Atwood] sees her role as the person who drops a flare on the highway — she wrote the new book in part because she worries the world is trending more toward Gilead than away from it.

While no one can be sure of what the future holds, one can’t deny Atwood’s fiction about Gilead has taken on a new light in recent years. And one thing is for sure: Atwood’s The Testaments is sure to shock and inspire as much as The Handmaid’s Tale continues to today. There’s already an excerpt you can read right now! Seriously, do yourself a favor and check out this first look at The Testaments. You can even listen to Atwood herself reading it!

 

 

Featured image via The Guardian

Chuck Palahniuk and the cover of 'Fight Club 3'

Chuck Palahniuk Is Writing ‘Fight Club 3’ and It’s a Little Different…

Ah, Fight Club. Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel about an unnamed insomniac narrator finding solace in beating the absolute heck out of other people—and being beaten back in turn— that winds through a mind-boggling plot, driven by the novel’s demented antagonist, Tyler Durden. The story ends with one of the most startling twists in fiction, and has earned an enormous following and birthed several beloved quotes, including: “The things you used to own, now they own you.” and “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

 

Cover of 'Fight Club'

Image via AbeBooks

 

The novel was left as a standalone until 2015, when Fight Club 2: The Tranquility Gambit was released. Fight Club 2 is a comic book “meta-sequel” to its predecessor, and continues the story of the original protagonist as told by the original antagonist (no spoilers, but if you know how Fight Club ends that plot device is way more compelling then your typical antagonist-as-narrator story).

 

Cover of 'Fight Club 2'

Image via Amazon

 

Now, Palahniuk has just announced that Fight Club 3 is on its way! This upcoming installment will throw a new complication into the already chaotic Fight Club universe: a child. There’s no telling what Tyler Durden is going to do now that he’s got to deal with a baby around but I, for one, am deeply concerned.

 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Palahniuk gave this little tidbit about the comic:

 

Fight Club 3 is about what happens when you need to team up with your enemy,” Palahniuk said in a statement. “And the situation is even more complicated here, given Tyler Durden and Balthazar’s unique relationship. And, yes, bodily fluids will be exchanged.

 

Sounds gross but cool, much as I would expect from Palahniuk. The first issue of the comic will be published by Dark Horse Comics on January 30th, which ought to be plenty of time for all of us to catch up on the series.

 

Cover and variant covers of 'Fight Club 3'

Image via Comic Book Resources

 

Featured Image Via Flavorwire and Comic Book Resources

sylvia gondola

Sylvia Plath Was Writing a Sequel to ‘The Bell Jar’

In the whole of Sylvia Plath’s career, she only ever published one novel. The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical account of a young woman who suffers from a depressive breakdown after returning home from a prestigious editing internship in New York. The bulk of Plath’s work was devoted to poetry, and the original publication of The Bell Jar was done under a pen name.

 

Plath did not want the novel’s reception to detract from her poetic legacy, nor did she want the people who made their way into The Bell Jar as characters to become aware of what Plath had written about them. Plath’s concerns were valid, as many readers of The Bell Jar have noted that the people who populate Esther Greenwood’s (Plath’s autobiographical protagonist) world come off as flat, unsympathetic, and even grotesque.

 

 

Sylvia Plath

Image via The Wall Street Journal

 

For Plath to write honestly about illness, she had to honestly describe what illness does to one’s relationships. Esther’s illness renders her unable to thoughtfully engage with the people around her; she harbors hostile feelings for her friends, for her fellow patients at the mental health facility where she stays, and even for her own mother. This cold lack of sympathy has put readers off since the book’s release. We never get to see how a healthy Esther would interact with others, so it is easy to interpret this coldness as a trait, rather than a symptom. But there’s something many readers and Plath fans may not be aware of: Plath never intended for The Bell Jar to be the end of Esther’s story.

 

Sylvia at her typewriter

Image via The New Yorker

 

The Bell Jar ends just as Esther is about to stand before a panel of doctors who will determine whether or not she may be released from their care. It appears to be a cliffhanger, but the beginning of the novel holds a clue as to what becomes of Esther. Early in the novel, Esther briefly describes what became of the various gifts she had received as an intern in New York:

 

For a long time afterward I hid them away, but later, when I was all right again, I brought them out, and I still have them around the house. I use the lipsticks now and then, and last week I cut the plastic starfish off the sunglasses case for the baby to play with.

 

This simple passage implies that The Bell Jar is written by an older, healthier Esther, who may even be a mother, if “the baby” is meant to be interpreted as her own. This means that there is a significant period of time during which Esther becomes “all right again” to which we are not privy. But historical documents indicate that Plath intended on filling in this gap and showing us Esther’s world through the eyes of her recovery.

 

Sylvia outdoors

Image via Hallie Shepherd

 

Plath referred to The Bell Jar as her “an autobiographical apprentice work which I had to write in order to free myself from the past.” To Plath, The Bell Jar was an exercise in catharsis, and one could even say that The Bell Jar’s true purpose was to act as the foundation for the novel on wellness Plath intended to write— it is worth noting that Plath began writing the sequel between when The Bell Jar was accepted for publication and when it was actually published.

 

Plath’s mother Aurelia was open about her daughter’s unfinished projects, and it is because of Aurelia that we have so much information about the unfinished sequel. She once said that

 

The companion book [to The Bell Jar] which was to follow this—and I have this all spelled out in letters from her—was to be the triumph of the healed central figure of the first volume and in this the caricatured characters of the first volume were to assume their true identities.

 

Sylvia Plath with her mother Aurelia and her children

Image via FamousFix

 

Unfortunately, Plath’s wellness was inextricably tied to her relationship with Ted Hughes. Plath’s marriage to Hughes had a powerful effect on her mental health, and when things in the relationship began to deteriorate, so too, did Plath’s psyche. When Plath discovered that Hughes had been having an affair, she set fire to not only his manuscripts, but hers as well, including what would have been the sequel to The Bell Jar. With the sequel obliterated from existence, Plath began to work on a different novel, one in which the protagonist is betrayed by her unfaithful husband (this version of the novel seems to have disappeared, according to Hughes).

 

Neither The Bell Jar‘s sequel, nor its permutation were ever released. About a month after the first publication of The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath died by suicide. The novel, or novels, she intended to write would never be.

 

Sylvia Plath’s legacy as one of the first writers to thoughtfully and honestly write about mental illness has reverberated throughout the reading community ever since its release.

 


If you, or a loved one is struggling with mental illness, don’t suffer alone. Seek professional help; call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or if you prefer, chat with them online here.

 

Featured Image Via Sylvia Plath Info

CMBYN

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Director Reveals Details of Sequel

Months after its release, the frenzy surround Call Me By Your Name – as well as hunky actors Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer – hasn’t let up one bit.

 

Call Me By Your Name has quickly become a cultural phenomenon, earning acclaim from critics and audiences alike as well as numerous award nominations. Most recently, leading actor Timothée Chalamet nearly won an Oscar for his role as Elio, and though he undeservedly lost, his emotional performance and ensuing popularity made the idea of a sequel a no-brainer.

 

Given the success that the adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel of the same name has garnered, news of a sequel wasn’t exactly surprising. However, given that the film closely followed Aciman’s novel, and the author himself hasn’t penned a follow-up, thereis much speculation as to what the sequel would involve.

 

Director Luca Guadagnino is helping to give fans some idea of what to expect. While attending the Oscars this past Sunday, the director revealed to USA Today that Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer are expected to return in their respective roles.

 

via GIPHY

 

He also revealed that the sequel will take place five to six years after the first film.”I’m already conceiving the story with André Aciman, and it’s gonna happen five or six years afterwards,” Guadagnino said. Whether the two characters have spent that time together, or if the sequel will see their reunion after time apart, is unclear.

 

The director also revealed that the sequel will take place on new ground. Rather than returning to Italy, it will take place elsewhere. 

 

“It’s gonna be a new movie, a different tone,” he said. “You’re gonna see a lot of the East Coast of America… They’re gonna go around the world.”

 

While the release date for the sequel is currently unknown, fans can go ahead and get excited.

 

 

via GIPHY

 

Featured Image Via Frenesy Film Company