Fireproof Copy of The Handmaid’s Tale Auctioned for $130,000

A fireproof copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was auctioned and sold for $130,000 on Tuesday. Part of the proceeds will be going to PEN America and their effort to combat book banning.

Fireproof copy of The Handmaid’s Tale Auctioned for $130,000

A promotional video for the auction shows Atwood trying to burn the book with a flamethrower and failing.

Margaret Atwood tries to burn The Handmaid’s Tale with a flamethrower

The 82-year-old author has seen her novel on the receiving end of many bans and controversies. Her best-selling dystopian novel about misogyny and other forms of oppression was made into a TV show and has won an Emmy Award.

Book Banning on the Rise

“I never thought I’d be trying to burn one of my own books… and failing,” said Margaret Atwood in a statement. “The Handmaid’s Tale has been banned many times—sometimes by whole countries, such as Portugal and Spain in the days of Salazar and the Francoists, sometimes by school boards, sometimes by libraries.”

Margaret Atwood

Books are being banned at an unprecedented rate all across North America and across the world. A recent report by Pen America found that there have been “more than 1,586 instances of individual books being banned in 2021 and “have occurred in 86 school districts in 26 states.”

“In the face of a determined effort to censor and silence,” said PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel, “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.”

Suzanne Nossel

Book banning is nothing new but it has seen a major rise. Many politicians and conservatives have made this a big issue at schools and libraries. Florida has even went as far as banning and removing content from textbooks about critical race theory and social justice.

Fighting Back Against Book Banning

Authors, librarians, teachers, and your everyday book lovers have been fighting back. This move by Atwood is one of many actions against censoring books. You can learn more about how to fight back against book banning online as numerous outlets push back or even at your local library or bookstore.

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