Fireproof copy of The Handmaid’s Tale sells at Sotheby’s for £103,000

- by Announcement, Rare Book Hub staff


Author Margaret Atwood helping PEN, which advocates for free expression around the world.

NEW YORK — Margaret Atwood years ago imagined apocalyptic disaster, Dystopian government and an author faking her own death. But until recently she spared herself the nightmare of trying to burn one of her own books using a flamethrower.

It didn’t burn but made headlines with the effort.

Recently, a unique unburnable version of her “The Handmaid’s Tale”, made with a specially treated aluminum product, was donated for PEN America's annual gala auction, fetching £103,000.


The connection to fire with Miss Atwood’s 1985 best seller is that fire was an important aspect of the plot.  To understand it, buy a copy.  However, if you have no burning desire to read the book on Abe Books and Alibris you can buy a shortcut called Cliff Notes [Yup, the same folks who got you through college!].


In the meantime, you can follow a video prepared by the donors to entice bidders. If you are less than mesmerized with the attached advertisements preceding the video there is a tasteful link on the lower right corner to skip messages from their sponsors.


Recently most hot books are those that were stolen.  If needed, we’ll consider to add a new category to Transactions+; i.e. “Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps, Ephemera, and Fireproof Books" OR "Rare and Fireproof Books, Manuscripts, Maps, and Ephemera".


We respectfully request your opinion.


Proceeds are being donated to PEN, which advocates for free expression around the world.