Margaret Atwood releases 'unburnable' edition of 'Handmaid's Tale'

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Margaret Atwood releases 'unburnable' edition of 'Handmaid's Tale'

In response to the rampant book bans around the US and the world, Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood has announced an "unburnable" edition of her most famous novel, 'The Handmaid's Tale'. To announce the project, 82-year-old Atwood appeared in a short YouTube video, wherein she attempts to burn a copy of 'The Handmaid's Tale' with a flame thrower.

The one-off edition will be auctioned through Sotheby's New York. Proceeds will be donated to PEN, which advocates for free expression around the world.


"Across the United States and around the world, books are being challenged, banned and even burned. So we created a special edition of a book that’s been challenged and banned for decades," Penguin Random House said while announcing the book.
"Printed and bound using fireproof materials, this edition of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was made to be completely un-burnable. It is designed to protect this vital story and stand as a powerful symbol against censorship," it added.


Atwood told the AP that she was immediately interested in the special edition, and in making the video. She was a teenager in the 1950s, when Ray Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451' was published, and holds vivid memories of the novel's futuristic setting, in which books are reduced to ashes.


'The Handmaid's Tale' has never been burned, as far as Atwood knows, but has often been subjected to bans or attempted bans. Atwood remembers a 2006 effort in one Texas high school district when the superintendent called her book "sexually explicit and offensive to Christians," which ended when students successfully fought back. In 2021, the book was pulled by schools in Texas and Kansas.


Meanwhile, for the unacquainted, 'The Handmaid's Tale' (1985) is a dystopian novel that explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain agency. It is set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian theocracy that has overthrown the United States government.


With inputs from AP
End of the article

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