A one-of-a-kind copy of Margaret Atwood’s bestselling novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” sold at auction for $130,000 on Tuesday.
Penguin Random House, with Atwood and Sotheby’s, created a fireproof edition of the novel in order to “serve as a powerful symbol against censorship and a reminder of the necessity of protecting vital stories,” according to Sotheby’s.
In a video announcing the limited-edition book, Penguin Random House says, “This year, hundreds of books have been banned and some have even been burned.”
In response, they created a book that was “printed on fire-resistant paper and bound with a flame retardant cover.”
The video then shows the 82-year-old author wielding a flamethrower and shooting flames at the fireproof edition of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a book that’s been “banned for years,” according to Penguin Random House.
The book sold for a staggering price of $130,000.
“This unburnable book is an emblem of our collective resolve to protect books, stories and ideas from those who fear and revile them. We are thankful to be able to deploy the proceeds of this auction to fortify this unprecedented fight for books,” said Suzanne Nosse, the CEO of PEN America, per NPR.
According to PEN America’s “Banned In The U.S.A.” report, there were 1,586 instances of book banning in the United States between July 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.
The report notes an increase in book bans, with many of those books “dealing with diverse characters and experiences — including racial, ethnic, and religious identities; gender identities and sexual orientations.”