Pro-choice protestors in Handmaids' Tale costumes surround Justice's house
Ron Filipkowski

A one-off version of Margaret Atwood’s seminal novel The Handmaid’s Tale is set to go up for auction, and (fittingly) it’s completely fireproof.

A unique copy of the book which can’t be burned will be sold at Sotheby’s New York.

In a PR stunt which emphasises the novel’s themes of censorship and totalitarian control, Atwood has filmed a special promo which sees her attempting to burn the book with a flamethrower.

It’s being sold for a good cause too, with proceeds set to be donated to PEN International, which is a worldwide association of writers that advocates for free expression.

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“In the category of things you never expected, this is one of them,” Atwood said.

The Unburnable Book: Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID'S

“To see her classic novel about the dangers of oppression reborn in this innovative, unburnable edition is a timely reminder of what’s at stake in the battle against censorship,” the CEO of Penguin Random House, Markus Dohle, added in a statement.

The item is also a joint project with the Rethink creative agency and The Gas Company Inc. It’s made of Cinefoi, a specially treated aluminium product, which The Gas Company Inc. principal owner Doug Laxdal claims would be a real challenge to destroy.

“The only way you could destroy that book is with a shredder,” Laxdal says. “Otherwise, it will last for a very long time.”

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in an oppressive and violent patriarchy, known as the Republic of Gilead, which overthrows the government in the US and enslaves women into child-bearing slavery.

It has received increased attention over recent times following the acclaimed TV adaptation starring Elisabeth Moss, as well as the perceived parallels between the novel and the real-life experiences of US citizens under the tenure of former president Donald Trump and the ongoing debate over abortion rights.

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