Banned Books Week — 2011

Sep­tem­ber 24th through Octo­ber 1st has been des­ig­nat­ed “Banned Books Week” by the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion and the Amer­i­can Book­sellers Foun­da­tion for Free­dom of Expres­sion. Every year, ever since 1982, these two orga­ni­za­tions pub­lish a list of the books that account for the most attempts to some­how ban or restrict them the pre­vi­ous year. 

Now, the ques­tion is, why is that some­thing this blog should care about? 

Well, for one thing, as a writer, it behooves me to defend my fel­low writ­ers from this assault not only on their own liveli­hoods but also against the major­i­ty who either don’t care or even sup­port the ideas and issues exem­pli­fied in the books a few want banned. I feel it is a writer’s job (and any oth­er cre­ative per­son) to explore ideas that some peo­ple want kept hid­den. This is more than just pro­fes­sion­al, its per­son­al: I know many peo­ple in the writ­ing and cre­ative field (this applies not just to books but also to comics, movies, TV shows, you name it) and this affects them, as well. 

But more impor­tant­ly, what is involved is the restric­tion of the flow of infor­ma­tion, which is a major con­cern of mine and one of the rea­sons for writ­ing this blog. 

And last­ly, it is because of the sub­ject of this blog. By and large, such banned books are often occult relat­ed, whether fic­tion­al (“Twi­light”) or fac­tu­al, and in some loca­tions, even the actu­al sub­ject of the blog, hyp­no­sis, what with the stereo­types involved, is a sub­ject of the supernatural. 

And the above does­n’t even account the “unof­fi­cial” ban­ning that takes place when peo­ple check out books from the library with the intent of destroy­ing them or sim­ply keep­ing them. 

If should be not­ed that one of the peren­ni­al banned books is “Brave New World” by Aldous Hux­ley, which is about a dystopi­an future where the pop­u­la­tion is, among oth­er things, con­di­tioned from the womb into their des­ig­nat­ed roles in life. 

So: read a banned book this week! If may even some­thing from the Collection. 


Update:

The fol­low­ing books are from the 2010 list of most fre­quent­ly chal­lenged books in the Unit­ed States, accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion:

1) And Tan­go Makes Three, by Peter Par­nell and Justin Richardson 

2) The Absolute­ly True Diary of a Part-Time Indi­an, by Sher­man Alexie 

3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley 

4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins 

5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins 

6) Lush, by Natasha Friend 

7) What My Moth­er Does­n’t Know, by Sonya Sones 

8) Nick­el and Dimed, by Bar­bara Ehrenreich 

9) Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Voic­es, edit­ed by Amy Sonnie 

10) Twi­light, by Stephe­nie Meyer 


Banned Books Week is spon­sored by the Amer­i­can Book­sellers Asso­ci­a­tion; Amer­i­can Book­sellers Foun­da­tion for Free Expres­sion; the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion; Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Jour­nal­ists and Authors; Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Pub­lish­ers; the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Col­lege Stores; the Com­ic Book Legal Defense Fund; Nation­al Coali­tion Against Cen­sor­ship; Nation­al Coun­cil of Teach­ers of Eng­lish; and PEN Amer­i­can Cen­ter.

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