Following a Super Bowl advertisement for Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the 1985 dystopian novel — which focuses on the vast oppression of women in a theocratic dictatorship — experienced a massive resurgence in interest and quickly topped the charts on Amazon’s best-sellers list. Atwood took note of the skyrocketing sales over the past week, and although she acknowledges that the sporting event helped her novel reach a larger audience, she believes the real reason behind the boosted sales to be Donald Trump and the increased focus on women’s issues that came with the U.S. election. “When it first came out it was viewed as being far-fetched,” Atwood said in an interview during Cuba’s international book fair. “However, when I wrote it I was making sure I wasn’t putting anything into it that human beings had not already done somewhere at some time.”
Atwood explained that progress in society shouldn’t be viewed as a “straight line forever upwards,” but rather as a concept full of sudden twists and turns. “You are seeing a bubbling up of it now,” she said, referring to President Trump’s plan to restrict women’s health care. “It’s back to 17th-century puritan values of New England at that time in which women were pretty low on the hierarchy … you can think you are being a liberal democracy but then — bang — you’re Hitler’s Germany.” The Handmaid’s Tale currently remains among the top ten best sellers on Amazon, while Hulu’s Elisabeth Moss–starring adaptation premieres on April 26.