Amazon issues apology after releasing Margaret Atwood's sequel to 'Handmaid's Tale' early

Amazon issues apology after releasing Margaret Atwood's sequel to 'Handmaid's Tale' early
© Getty Images

Amazon has apologized and said that a "technical error" resulted in some copies of Margaret Atwood's "The Testaments" being sent out before the book is officially released.

The company said in a statement Thursday that a "small number" of people were sent the novel, the sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale," before its scheduled release on Tuesday.

"Due to a technical error a small number of customers were inadvertently sent copies of Margaret Atwood's 'The Testaments,'" an Amazon spokesperson said.


"We apologize for this error; we value our relationship with authors, agents, and publishers, and regret the difficulties this has caused them and our fellow booksellers," the spokesperson added. 

The book's publisher also acknowledged that the copies were shipped early, but said in a statement the book's release date would not change. 

"A very small number of copies of Margaret Atwood' 'The Testaments' were distributed early due to a retailer error which has now been rectified," said Todd Doughty, executive director of Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House. "We appreciate that readers and booksellers have been waiting patiently for the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling 'The Handmaid's Tale.'"

The 1985 dystopian novel, which depicts a future under a totalitarian theocracy called Gilead, has been adapted into a hit Hulu TV series. According to CNN, Hulu and MGM also plan to adapt "The Testaments" for TV. 

In Gilead, fertility rates have plummeted and women suffer under an all-encompassing repressive system, forced to serve as so-called Handmaids, Aunts and Marthas. Imagery and language from "Handmaid's Tale" have been used in recent years by countless protesters speaking out on women's rights and abortion issues.