The author of the best-selling novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘ has announced the release of an ‘unburnable‘ copy of her book in protest against book bans in the United States and the rolling-back of women’s rights in the country, particularly the attack on abortion rights by the Supreme Court.
82-year-old Margaret Atwood announced the project in a short YouTube video, saying that the copy of the book will be auctioned for good causes.
Her publisher, Penguin Random House said:
“Across the United States and around the world, books are being challenged, banned and even burned. So we created a special edition of a book that’s been challenged and banned for decades. Printed and bound using fireproof materials, this edition of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was made to be completely un-burnable. It is designed to protect this vital story and stand as a powerful symbol against censorship.”
The Handmaid’s Tale was first published 37 years ago and tells the story of a dystopian future in which women have been pushed into the role of second-class citizens. The Guardian says the book:
“Tells the story of Offred – not her real name, but the patronymic she has been given by the new regime in an oppressive parallel America of the future – and her role as a Handmaid. The Handmaids are forced to provide children by proxy for infertile women of a higher social status, the wives of Commanders. They undergo regular medical tests, and in many ways become invisible, the sum total of their biological parts.”
The book is just one of many books, including Anne Frank’s Diary of her experience during the Nazi holocaust, that right-wingers and conservative Christians are having banned in schools and public libraries across the US, a nation in which freedom of speech is meant to be defended by the constitution.
Attwood has previously said on attempts to ban her book:
“First, the remark: ‘Offensive to Christians’ amazes me. Nowhere in the book is the regime identified as Christian. As for sexual explicitness, The Handmaid’s Tale is a lot less interested in sex than is much of the Bible.”
She recently added regarding the potential repeal of Roe v. Wade:
“Women who cannot make their own decisions about whether or not to have babies are enslaved because the state claims ownership of their bodies and the right to dictate the use to which their bodies must be put.”
[Based on reporting by: The Guardian]