When first printed in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Story drew popularity of the way it mixed and made new the style conventions of the dystopian, historic, and fantasy novel. However the e-book has loved its best fame previously decade, thanks partly to a 2017 adaptation on Hulu and a sequel, The Testaments, printed two years thereafter. It’s even turn out to be outstanding in mass tradition, often 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 usually learn than publicly referenced — and subsequently, no small quantity of the time, publicly misinterpreted. The one strategy to fortify your self towards such abuse of literature is, after all, truly to learn the e-book. Luckily, The Handmaid’s Story is now broadly obtainable, in contrast to 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 the US 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 profit PEN America’s work in help of free expression.” You may bid on it at Sotheby’s website, 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 appliance of warmth. But it surely’s Ballantine’s 1953 particular version of that novel, “sure in Johns-Manville quinterra, an asbestos materials with distinctive resistance to pyrolysis,” that really set the precedent for this one-off Handmaid‘s story. These making bids actually perceive the e-book’s place in at this time’s cultural debates — however let’s hope additionally 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. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Fb, or on Instagram.