Books

Audible released a special edition of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ with Claire Danes

Just in time for the premiere

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The adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale” will launch on Hulu on April 26, but if you haven’t read the original work by Margaret Atwood, you still have time to enjoy it. Audible Studios, a production arm of Audible.com, announced the release of a Special Edition of The Handmaid’s Tale, performed by Emmy Award-winning actress Claire Danes. Not only does the new Audible edition include Claire Danes, it also includes new, original material written by Margaret Atwood.

This Audible exclusive edition extends the novel beyond the original final line, “Are there any questions?,” by adding the questions and answers that the people at that Symposium, occurring in 2195, might ask. The Handmaid’s Tale: Special Edition is now available for download at Amazon.com, and will sync with your Audible account.

In addition to rich sound design that honors the audio origins of Atwood’s classic, the special edition also includes a brand-new afterword from the author and an essay written by author Valerie Martin.

“I’m delighted to see the novel that I wrote over thirty years ago come alive on new platforms every year,” said Atwood. “The roots of my original book are in audio — Offred’s story was recorded, not written, and even the ‘Historical Notes’ are a voice – so I was excited to extend the story with additional material meant specifically to be heard. The time is right for this Audible edition, with a stellar performance by Claire Danes and a ‘continuation’ of sorts that can’t be found anywhere else. The Handmaid’s Tale is alive, it seems — and like all living things, it grows and multiplies!”

“How often have you finished a book and wished there were more? We were thrilled that Margaret Atwood embraced the idea to give her fans more of The Handmaid’s Tale,” said Audible EVP and Publisher Beth Anderson. “I hope this new Special Edition gives people a reason to revisit this classic or discover it for the first time.”

With a 30-day membership trial at Audible, new listeners can enjoy any one audiobook, including this beautifully performed production of The Handmaid’s Tale: Special Edition, free.

In addition to Danes, among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Sean Penn, Nick Offerman, Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson, James Franco, and Jesse Eisenberg. In 2013, Audible Studios won its first Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and also won the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair.

Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content, invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. In 2016, Audible members downloaded an average of more than 17 books over the course of the year. More than half of new Audible members are first-time audiobook buyers.