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The Handmaid's Tale author, Margaret Atwood, sits down to explain her sequel novel The Testaments

One of the year's most-hotly anticipated novels, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, has been released today.

The book is a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale which has since been made into a hit television series - 30 years on from when it was first published.

The BBC's Rebecca Jones sat down with the author to talk about the new addition.

Ms Atwood, 79, told the reporter the story's message of oppression has never felt more relevant.

"Young women of reproductive age are always in the minority in any society," she said. "They feel that they're on the verge of having decisions made about them, and about their entire future and fate and body and health - that they have not been able to decide."

The story is set in a future where America is ruled by religious fundamentalists and women are reduced to sexual slavery.

Since the election of President Donald Trump, women have come out dressed in red robes like the characters in the book and TV series in protest for the rights they feel are being stripped from them.

When asked about the protests, Ms Atwood said it was "a brilliant demonstration". 

"You can't kick them out because they're not saying anything - they're sitting very modestly - and you can't kick them out because they're dressed improperly - they're all covered up - but everybody looking at them knows what they mean."

However, she added it was "just a book" - adding it's not a regime change, a riot in Moscow or Brexit.

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The BBC’s Rebecca Jones spoke with Atwood. Source: BBC