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The 30-second trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale was released this past week, and it looks as harrowing, gripping and truthful to the source material as fans of the book had hoped. The adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel (set in the future totalitarian society of Gilead, where women are state property whose sole role – of fertility and reproduction – is to serve an oppressive patriarchal system) debuts at the end of April in the US on Hulu.

In other book news:

The author Shappi Khorsandi has chosen to withdraw her novel Nina is Not OK from the Jhalak Prize longlist, owing to concerns that her skin colour ‘was up for an award rather than [her] book’. The prize is intended to celebrate writers of colour, but though Khorsandi admits to being ‘flattered’ by the nomination, she did not want her book to be judged or rewarded based on ethnic identity. Sunny Singh, author and Chair of the prize, remarked disappointment in but respect for the decision.

At the break of this new year, one new book deal announcement came as a shock to many, as it was announced that the brazenly bigoted alt-right and Breitbart spokesperson Milo Yiannopoulos had negotiated a six-figure contract with publishing giant Simon & Schuster. The provocative conservative ‘internet personality’ will be paid $250,000 to write a book on ‘free speech’, to the anger and bewilderment of many.

If you want to know what delightful books and bookish anniversaries to watch out for over the next twelve months, take a look at this literary calendar created by The Guardian. From the publication of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s new novel, Haruki Murakami’s new fiction collection and Patrick Ness’s new YA story, this glimpse at the months ahead is well worth checking out. Did you also know that 26 June will mark a full 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published? How time flies.

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