Banned Books No More: This Fireproof Edition of The Handmaid's Tale Is Standing Up Against Censorship


In 2022, books are still being banned and censored around the world, but Penguin Random House is here to fight back. In retaliation to censorship, the publishing house has partnered with Margaret Atwood to create a special edition of her novel that can never be silenced or destroyed.

Introducing the fireproof edition of Atwood’s controversial masterpiece The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian novel that criticizes the patriarchy and defends women’s rights and reproduction rights.  

Photo by Penguin Random House.

Never thought we’d see the day the 82-year-old Margaret Atwood would wield a flame thrower, but there’s a first for everything. 

In the fiery video, Penguin Random House explains that this “unburnable” book was printed on fire-resistant material and bound with a flame retardant cover—all of which are meant to symbolize rejecting censorship. 

“Powerful words can never be extinguished,” said the publishing house in the video. 

A metaphor for the freedom to read, this fireproof book is a one of the kind and will not be replicated. The book will go auctioned at Sotheby’s New York, and the funds raised will be given to PEN America, a literature-focused NGO that defends the freedom of expression. 


Now, if only we could make the internet fireproof—or at least troll-proof—too. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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