The Handmaid’s Tale rockets to top of book charts after UK series debut

Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel surged in sales within hours of the dystopian drama’s Channel 4 debut

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Since the first broadcast of its TV adaptation aired in the UK on Sunday night, the 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale has rocketed to the top of the book charts. 

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Margaret Atwood’s work of fiction, depicting a hellish future where the US is ruled by a far-right regime that forces women to bear children, soared to number one on Amazon within hours of the series, which stars Elisabeth Moss, debuting on Channel 4. 

This is not the first surge the book has seen in the UK over the last year. The novel also enjoyed a boost in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s election as president.

Charlotte Knight, editor at Vintage Classics, which publishes The Handmaid’s Tale in the UK told the Guardian: “At the advent of the Trump presidency we saw an extra boost in sales, as it was one of a handful of enduring and brilliant dystopias that readers were turning to at a time of political uncertainty.

“We were delighted to see that the recent TV adaptation had provided an extra fillip.” 

The show first aired on the US streaming service Hulu a month ago, giving the book a spike in sales in the US. Following critical acclaim, it has also already been renewed for a second series.

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The Handmaid’s Tale continues on Channel 4 at 9pm on Sunday