When first revealed 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 ebook has loved its best fame up to now decade, thanks partially to a 2017 adaptation on Hulu and a sequel, The Testaments, revealed two years thereafter. It’s even turn out to be distinguished 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 vulnerable to turning into much less typically learn than publicly referenced — and subsequently, no small quantity of the time, publicly misinterpreted. The one solution to fortify your self towards such abuse of literature is, after all, really to learn the ebook. Luckily, The Handmaid’s Story is now extensively obtainable, not like sure books in sure locations which have been topic to bans. It’s towards such banning that the most recent version of Atwood’s novel stands, printed and certain utilizing solely fireproof supplies.
“Throughout america and world wide, books are being challenged, banned, and even burned,” says writer Penguin Random Home. “So we created a particular version of a ebook that’s been challenged and banned for many years.” This uniquely “unburnable” Handmaid’s Story “will probably be offered 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 may bid on it at Sotheby’s web site, the place as of this writing the worth 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 revealed Fahrenheit 451, its title lengthy a byword for book-burning, that solely turns into readable with the applying of warmth. Nevertheless it’s Ballantine’s 1953 particular version of that novel, “certain 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 definitely perceive the ebook’s place in as we speak’s cultural debates — however let’s hope in addition they intend to learn it.
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Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll via 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.