The Testaments launch parties

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Inspired by our friends Book-ish in Crickhowell, Index on Censorship and VINTAGE are coordinating a nationwide series of publication-day celebrations and midnight openings at independent bookshops across the UK as part of Banned Books Week UK to celebrate the publication of Margaret Atwood’s highly anticipated The Testaments (sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale) on 10 September.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”108451″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Book-ish will be celebrating the much anticipated publication of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood with an evening event and Old Skool midnight opening.

When: 9 September 20:00 – 23:00
Where: Book-ish 18 High Street Crickhowell NP8 1BD
Tickets: Full details here.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”108420″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Join us for the midnight launch party of The Testaments, Margaret Atwood’s long-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, at Roe River Books in Dundalk.

When: 9 September 21:00 – 23:00
Where: Roe River Books 66/67 Park St Dundalk Co. Louth, A91 C6VK Ireland
Tickets: Full details here. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”108636″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Red Lion Books in Colchester will host a midnight launch for The Testaments on 9th September. They are inviting customers to submit personal and anonymous testaments of when they have experienced forms of prejudice. These testaments will be read by an actor. They will use the prize fund to create props, make bonnets and provide refreshments, as well as advertising the event on social media.

When: 10 September, 7pm 
Where: Red Lion Books, 125 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1SZ
Tickets: Full details here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”108701″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Rogan’s Books, a specialist independent feminist and children’s bookshop in Bedford, also plan a midnight launch for The Testaments on 9th September. They are arranging a lantern-lit parade of handmaids through Bedford, passing landmarks such as the Embankment, the river, the wall and the eerie Castle ruins. Just before midnight, the procession will arrive at Rogan’s Books to striking window displays, a reading from the first chapter and Handmaid’s Tale themed refreshments.

When: 9 September, 11:30pm
Where: Rogan’s Books, 26 Castle Ln, Bedford MK40 3US
Tickets: Full details here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”108593″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Join Storysmith in Bristol for an informal discussion of the original novel, and enjoy 20% off your copy of The Testaments when purchased from them on the night (they’ll have plenty in stock). Entry is free and includes a glass of wine, but spaces are limited: This event is now fully booked.

When: 10 September 6:30pm
Where: Storysmith, 49 North Street, Bristol, BS3 1EN
Tickets: Full details here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”108924″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Belsize Community Library’s book club looks at literature through the lens of censorship. This month, as preparation for UK Banned Books Week, they’ve invited Index on Censorship to come and talk about literary censorship and their work defending free speech worldwide. They’ll also be discussing Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which has been both challenged and celebrated. It has been banned and restricted by some schools in the US, but used as a A-level set text in the UK – and now is the basis for a very successful TV series.

When: 11 September, 7-8pm
Where: Belsize Community Library, Antrim Grove, Belsize Park, NW3 4XP
Tickets: Free, no registration necessary.
Full details here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Banned Books Week / 22-28 Sept 2019″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”|||”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”103109″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Banned Books Week UK is a nationwide campaign for radical readers and rebellious readers of all ages celebrate the freedom to read. Between 22 – 28 September 2019, bookshops, libraries, schools, literary festivals and publishers will be hosting events and making noise about some of the most sordid, subversive, sensational and taboo-busting books around.


Call to UK Independent Bookshops: Organise your celebrations for Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments on 9 and 10 September 2019

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Inspired by our friends Book-ish in Crickhowell, Index on Censorship and VINTAGE are coordinating a nationwide series of publication-day celebrations and midnight openings at independent bookshops across the UK as part of Banned Books Week UK to celebrate the publication of Margaret Atwood’s highly anticipated The Testaments (sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale) on 10 September.

Host a midnight opening on the evening of 9 September or publication-day event on 10 September in your bookshop

We would like to support all independent bookshops marking the publication of The Testaments. You could open your doors after hours to booklovers on publication night, and, as the clock strikes midnight, sell copies of The Testaments. Or perhaps you could host celebrations on publication day – you could ask a local author to take part in live readings or a discussion, run a feminist banned-book quiz, have a The Testaments themed party or stage an anti-Gilead protest. Index and VINTAGE will provide you with POS materials (promotional posters, badges and tote bags) for window and in-store displays.

Go BIG – win £750 from VINTAGE to host your event

Do you have an exciting event idea? An attention-grabbing PR stunt? Fancy running a handmaid procession through the streets or creating your own Mayday resistance squad? Go as BIG as you dare – send us a brief event pitch, no more than 1 side of A4, outlining what you want to do, how you want to do it and how much you think it will cost to: [email protected], with the subject line ‘The Testaments publication celebration’. The deadline to apply is 30 April and we will let you know if your application has been successful in May.

The Handmaid’s Tale (re)read

With just under 6 months still to go until The Testaments is published and Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale on the horizon, we’ll be celebrating the dystopian classic throughout the month of May, and we’d love you to join in. Run your own The Handmaid’s Tale book club, invite a local author to chair a discussion, or create a Handmaid-themed display. We will be providing reading-group packs to guide your events and posters to display.

How to get involved

To let us know that you are planning events for either The Testaments or The Handmaid’s Tale, to make sure your bookshop is listed on the Banned Books Week website and interactive map and to request POS materials and reading group packs, please contact: [email protected]

To enter to win £750 to fund your attention-grabbing activity, please contact: [email protected] by 30 April 2019 (see instuctions above)

Please order your copies of The Testaments (9781784742324), RRP £20.00, from your local PRH Territory Manager, your preferred wholesaler, or direct via TBS Sales on 01206 256161

[Please note, reading or opening the book before midnight (00.01 on 10 September) is STRICTLY UNDER EMBARGO. You will be asked to sign a strict non-disclosure agreement about the contents of the book before receiving deliveries. Thank you.]

About The Testaments

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’ Margaret Atwood

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About Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias GraceThe Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam Trilogy. Her 1985 classic The Handmaid’s Tale went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against him; and the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series. Sales of the English language edition have now topped 8 million copies worldwide. 

Atwood has won numerous awards including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.


VINTAGE publishes some of the greatest writers and thinkers from around the world and across the ages – from Philip Roth, Yuval Harari, Haruki Murakami and Alice Munro to Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson and Salman Rushdie. Writers who have invented new worlds and explored our own; who have captured imaginations and won dozens of prizes, from the Nobel and the Booker to the Pulitzer and beyond.

Born in New York in 1974 and moving to London in 1990, VINTAGE is also famed for its beautiful, stylish design and brave innovation. The publisher comprises nine imprints, each one as distinctive as its own past: Jonathan Cape, Bodley Head, Harvill Secker, Chatto & Windus, Hogarth, Yellow Jersey, Square Peg, VINTAGE Paperbacks and VINTAGE Classics.

About Index on Censorship

Index on Censorship is a nonprofit organisation that fights for free expression and defends against censorship worldwide through an award-winning magazine, regular events and advocacy. Founded in 1972, Index has published work by censored writers and poets including Salman Rushdie, Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur Miller; Nobel Prize Winning authors Nadine Gordimer and Wole Soykinka; contemporary writers and campaigners including Ian Rankin, Lily Cole, Hilary Mantel and of course Index Patron Margaret Atwood.

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About Banned Books Week UK

Banned Books Week UK (22-28 September 2019) is a week-long celebration of the freedom to read co-ordinated by Index on Censorship in partnership with literary and freedom of expression organisations in the UK including the Booksellers Association. Banned Books Week was initiated by the American Library Association (ALA) in 1982 in response to an increasing number of challenges in the US to books in schools, libraries and bookshops. The ALA lists The Handmaid’s Tale as number 37 out of “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000.”

More information: