For more details or to book a place please call/email Sarah Salmon at 01603 774707/ Sarah.Salmon@norfolk.gov.uk
Banned Books Discussion Evening 2012: Thursday 4th October 6 – 7.30pm This free evening will include a talk by Dr. Sarah Garland (UEA School of American Studies) as well as an open discussion on book censorship and the following 8 chosen titles:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (published 2007)… Despite winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (USA) this book has been challenged every year since publication, and removed from school libraries and the curriculum in several States. It was challenged for its “obscene, vulgar, and racist language.”
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs (published 1959)… This book features on many lists of ‘must read’ book titles but was in fact not published in the USA until 1962 because of the then obscenity laws. It was the central book of one the most recent American Obscenity Trials. It was banned in Boston (MA) on the grounds of obscenity (notably child murder and paedophilia) and more recently challenged due to vulgar language.
Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland (published 1748)… This book was written and published in two installments whilst the author was in a debtor’s prison. It has become one of the most prosecuted and banned books of all time and the author was arrested and charged with “corrupting the King’s subjects.” The book was sold ‘underground’ up until the 1960s when it once again appeared on trial, along with the booksellers making the text available. It wasn’t until 1973 that it became legal to own, sell and loan this book.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (published 1930)… William Faulkner claimed that he wrote this book in just six weeks and that he didn’t alter a word from this draft. The book has been removed (and reinstated) from libraries and schools many times. The most recently action happened in Kentucky in 2004 when it was temporarily banned because the book “uses profanity and challenges the existence of God.”
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (published 1925)… Although published in 1925 the book did not become popular until after the author’s death, it is now regarded as a modern American classic and a film adaptation is due soon. The book has been challenged on the grounds that it glamorises the drinking of alcohol and because of the “language and sexual references.”
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (published 2003)… The Kite Runner has been a favourite read for book groups since publication, but has also been one of the most challenged books of modern times – featuring in the Top 10 Banned Book more than once. The book has been deemed age inappropriate and placed on restricted shelves in some areas due to the “vulgar language” the “violence and the sexual situations portrayed in the book.”
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (published 1936)… This book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and turned in to a multi-Oscar winning film including one for Hattie McDaniel – the first African American to win an Academy Award. The book has been banned and challenged for the use of racist language.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (published 1955)… Since publication Lolita has attained a classic status becoming one of the best know and most controversial books of the twentieth century. Publication of the book was banned because of obscenity in France, Britain, Argentina and New Zealand. The most recent challenge to this book was in Florida in 2006 where it was being reviewed to see if the content breached the state’s law by being “unsuitable for minors.”