Author Margaret Atwood has created an “unburnable” edition of her book “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
In a video that was released on Tuesday, the esteemed author takes a flamethrower to her book to prove that it can never be burned.
WATCH Margaret Atwood Take A Flamethrower To ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
As PEOPLE reported, the video above was released by her publisher, Penguin Random House, to announce the auction of the “unburnable” version of her book. Atwood is hoping that the auction will create more attention to the issue of book banning in schools across the United States.
In a statement, Atwood, now 82, said, “I never thought I’d be trying to burn one of my own books… and failing.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale has been banned many times — sometimes by whole countries, such as Portugal and Spain in the days of Salazar and the Francoists, sometimes by school boards, sometimes by libraries,” she continued. “Let’s hope we don’t reach the stage of wholesale book burnings, as in Fahrenheit 451.”
“But if we do,” she added, “Let’s hope some books will prove unburnable — that they will travel underground, as prohibited books did in the Soviet Union.”
Pen America CEO, Suzanne Nossel, released a statement about the “unburnable” book, saying, “If there is anyone who can ensure that the book is not consumed, it is Margaret Atwood. She has found a way to fight fire with fireproofing, taking on book banners and burners with a potent reminder that the power of books is indestructible.”
“In the face of a determined effort to censor and silence, this unburnable book is an emblem of our collective resolve to protect books, stories, and ideas from those who fear and revile them,” she continued. “We are thankful to be able to deploy the proceeds of this auction to fortify this unprecedented fight for books.”
What Is The Unburnable Book Made Out Of?
The unburnable edition of “The Handmaid’s Tale” is made out of fireproof materials and contains illustrations by designer Noma Bar. The book will be on display at Sotheby’s New York from June 3rd until the auction on June 7th. All proceeds from the sale will go to PEN America, an organization dedicated to fighting book censorship.
Although “The Handmaid’s Tale” was first published in 1985, it has recently been made into a Hulu series that has brought new attention to the struggle for women’s rights. The dystopian story has been making headlines in recent weeks after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealed that Roe v. Wade is on the precipice of being overturned.
Atwood recognizes that many schools have attempted to ban “The Handmaid’s Tale,” although it continues to be taught in English classes around the world.
In 2017, when the Hulu series first premiered, Atwood told PEOPLE that “There’s a precedent in real life for everything in the book.”
“I decided not to put anything in that somebody somewhere hadn’t already done,” she added. “But you write these books so they won’t come true.”
As PEOPLE reported, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom “tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021,” including 1,597 books. According to the ALA, there were only 156 challenges in 2020. Many of these books are authored by people of color and LGBTQ+ authors.