How Many Banned Books Have You Read?
Redefine appropriate, suitable, proper, and honest.
By Sarah Sharif,
1:36PM, Wed. Sep. 25, 2013
Celebrate the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week! Local writers, musicians, and other prominent Austinites will read from banned and challenged books, including Leaves of Grass; The Color Purple; Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret; King & King, and more.
Reading through the Banned Books Bash book list, I recognized over half since I had read them in high school. My next thoughts were: Could I remember the stories, create reasons to why I would ban them, and what was the real scoop. Disliking content and challenging the author’s intent are a respectable given, but banning the material from libraries, schools, and stores is another level. Here is the dish on Beloved and The Catcher in the Rye; these names look familiar yet?
Firstly, why ban books at all? We can argue that writing is the greatest form of art and free expression. The main reason that books are banned is for protection of innocence, ensuring that if a younger child were to read the book, they would not be shocked with the language or offensive content thereby shattering their naïve bubble. Makes sense, just be age appropriate.
Catcher in the Rye – If you have read this book then you might recall all the slang verbiage and cursing that goes on. The book content has also been described as anti-white and rebellious with the main character being a lousy role model for teenage youth promoting sexual promiscuity, alcohol, and indifference. This book was once banned from several local schools as suitable reading material and has been one of the top challenged books in history.
Beloved – This brutally, honest novel about the horrors of slavery has even won the Pulitzer Prize! The raw themes relating to infanticide, racism, and sex in this powerful tale have been viewed as intolerable for some parents. In my research, I found it was still being pulled from classrooms in 2008! And even a few months ago, a parent who was disgruntled with the themes challenged it for removal.
Okay, I am going to stop spilling the secrets here. Come out and join me to celebrate the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week!! Read On Austin!
Banned Books Bash
1607 San Jacinto
September 26 at 6pm
Library Member – Free/Non-Member - $10
RSVP or purchase tickets here - www.austinlibrary.org