Banned Books Week, Day 7

This is the final day of Banned Books Week 2018, and I’m about to turn this thing over to you. What are you willing to do to support banned and challenged artists?

One obvious move, of course, is to pick up a few controversial books and read them, and then talk about them with friends and family. See plays, visit museums, listen to music, memorize poetry (mark your calendars — Poem in Your Pocket Day comes around every April). Engage with the diversity that’s out there, and get to know something new. Put your brain to work.

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association (www.ala.org)

You could also do this: The ALA has started a Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign. Write to an author whose banned book/s have been important to you.

At a conference I attended a few years ago, Chris Crutcher, as part of an anti-censorship panel, defended Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which was facing challenges and bans because of sexual content. Afterwards, an audience member approached him. “Mr. Crutcher,” she said, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe in masturbation.” Without hesitating, Crutcher replied, “Lady, that’s ok. It doesn’t need you to believe in it.”

Nearly all of Crutcher’s books have been challenged, so I think I’ll drop him a line. He deserves another letter from someone who loves his work.

Tomorrow, Banned Books Week will be over, but censorship will continue. Do what you can to make sure people’s stories aren’t silenced.

About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
This entry was posted in Banned/Challenged Books and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Banned Books Week, Day 7

  1. Calmgrove says:

    Earlier this year the Friends of our local library ran a day of writing letters to jailed journalists. I can’t remember how many we sent letters to but it’s important that journalists are recognised as writers too, and that being jailed because they expose political injustices is another extremely effective way of not just banning their column inches but of silencing them.

    The two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar and the many journalists languishing in Egyptian jails are just the more high profile cases we all know of happening recently.

    Your post has reminded me that I should do a follow-up on that Friends initiative. Thank you.

  2. Important post. I am always astonished to see what titles are/have been banned or challenged. It is sad that we must take the time to be vigilant, but necessary if we want the freedom to read.

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