News | June 8, 2022

“Unburnable” Edition of The Handmaid’s Tale Sells for $130,000

Courtesy of Sotheby's

New York — In an online auction which closed at Sotheby's today, a fireproof copy of Margaret Atwood's celebrated novel, The Handmaid's Tale was sold for $130,000, with all proceeds to benefit PEN America. Created in partnership with Penguin Random House, the book helped raise awareness of the organization's crucial mission to combat the proliferation of book banning and educational gag orders in American schools nationwide. In a launch video announcing the project, Margaret Atwood herself can be seen “testing” a prototype with a flamethrower.
In response to the sale, Margaret Atwood commented: "I'm very pleased that the one-of-a-kind Unburnable Book of The Handmaid's Tale has raised so much money for PEN America. Free speech issues are being hotly debated, and PEN is a sane voice amidst all the shouting. The video of the book being torched by me and refusing to burn has now had a potential 5 billion views. We hope it raises awareness and leads to reasoned discussion."