When first printed in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Story drew approval for the way it mixed and made new the style conventions of the dystopian, historic, and fantasy novel. However the e book has loved its biggest fame previously decade, thanks partly to a 2017 adaptation on Hulu and a sequel, The Testaments, printed two years thereafter. It’s even change into outstanding in mass tradition, ceaselessly referenced in discussions of real-life politics and society within the method of Nineteen Eighty-4 or Fahrenheit 451.
Like George Orwell and Ray Bradbury’s well-known works, The Handmaid’s Story additionally appears liable to changing into much less typically learn than publicly referenced — and due to this fact, no small quantity of the time, publicly misinterpreted. The one approach to fortify your self towards such abuse of literature is, after all, truly to learn the e book. Happily, The Handmaid’s Story is now broadly out there, not like sure books in sure locations which have been topic to bans. It’s towards such banning that the newest version of Atwood’s novel stands, printed and sure utilizing solely fireproof supplies.
“Throughout america and around the globe, books are being challenged, banned, and even burned,” says writer Penguin Random Home. “So we created a particular version of a e book that’s been challenged and banned for many years.” This uniquely “unburnable” Handmaid’s Story “shall be introduced for public sale by Sotheby’s New York from Might 23 to June 7 with all proceeds going to learn PEN America’s work in assist of free expression.” You’ll be able to bid on it at Sotheby’s web site, the place as of this writing the value stands at USD $70,000.
Penguin has experimented with bodily metaphorical books earlier than: the paperback version of Nineteen Eighty-4, for instance, whose cowl turns into much less “censored” with use. Extra not too long ago, the graphic design studio Tremendous Terrain printed Fahrenheit 451, its title lengthy a byword for book-burning, that solely turns into readable with the applying of warmth. However it’s Ballantine’s 1953 particular version of that novel, “sure in Johns-Manville quinterra, an asbestos materials with distinctive resistance to pyrolysis,” that actually set the precedent for this one-off Handmaid‘s story. These making bids actually perceive the e book’s place in right now’s cultural debates — however let’s hope in addition they intend to learn it.
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Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embrace the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the e book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by way of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Fb, or on Instagram.