The Testaments is set 15 years after the final scene featuring main character Offred, and will be narrated by three female characters – although Atwood has not revealed whether Offred will be one of them.
It is due to be published in September 2019.
Atwood’s story of a dystopian society in the imagined land of Gilead was a best-seller when it was first published in 1985.
The novel was hailed as a feminist work, detailing the struggles of women stripped of their rights and living in sexual servitude.
Sales of the book soared after Donald Trump’s election win in 2016 and the story became a hit TV series, reflecting a mood of resistance against gender inequality, last year.
Announcing the sequel, the Canadian author said: “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.”
She said the book is not connected to the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, which starred Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes and was extended beyond the original novel.
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