Censorship

Writers Write About Censorship

Excerpt from "Places I Never Meant To Be" Original Stories By Censored Writers; Edited and Introduction by Judy Blume. Blume tells the story of how she circumnavigated the naysayers to read her first book by John O'Hara. Not a new title (2001), but definitely one worth reading.

From the Introduction: When I was growing up I’d heard that if a movie or book was “Banned in Boston” everybody wanted to see it or read it right away. My older brother, for example, went to see such a movie -- The Outlaw, starring Jane Russell -- and I wasn’t supposed to tell my mother. I begged him to share what he saw, but he wouldn’t. I was intensely curious about the adult world and hated the secrets my parents, and now my brother, kept from me.

A few years later, when I was in fifth grade, my mother was reading a novel called A Rage to Live, by John O’Hara, and for the first time (and, as it turned out, the only time) in my life, she told me I was never to look at that book, at least not until I was much older. Once I knew my mother didn’t want me to read it, I figured it must be really interesting! -- Read More

Amazon Removes Some Explicit Yaoi Manga from Kindle Store

From Publisher's Weekly

Amazon has removed several yaoi manga from its Kindle Store and refused to allow others to be offered for Kindle, although the bookseller continues to sell the same manga in print and to offer more explicit erotic books in both formats. Yaoi manga, also known as boys-love or BL, is a popular niche genre in manga that features love stories between two males and can range from softly romantic to sexually explicit.

The manga publisher Digital Manga Publishing announced on its blog Tuesday that two of its books had been removed from the Kindle Store and two more were rejected, and the website The Yaoi Review also reported that several Yaoi Press manga and novels had been removed. At least one non-yaoi erotic graphic novel has also been removed from the Kindle Store this week. Amazon representatives contacted by PW did not answer e-mails or phone calls requesting more information.

Full article

No Love for "Lovingly Alice" as School District Removes Book

A Paradise Valley, AZ mother is upset that her daughter was subjected to Lovingly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

"If you looked on the cover, it's just a very young cute girl on the cover," Lockhart said. "My (incoming) second-grader can pick this book up and think, 'This is a cute book.' There needs to be some sort of warning label."

Officials with the Paradise Valley Unified School District have pulled the book from their shelves.

More from AZCentral.

Piles of books burned in Arizona town

Piles of books burned in FLDS border town
Piles of books — perhaps thousands — intended to be used for a new library were burned over the weekend in the polygamous community that borders Utah.

"There is a bonfire outside that clearly has books that have burned in it," Wyler said. "I can't say every book has been burned, because I haven't seen the inside. I can't get in there to see."

Most Americans Opposed to Banning Any Books

Most Americans Opposed to Banning Any Books

Banning or censoring books has been debated for years. A new Harris Poll shows, however, that a majority of Americans think no books should be banned completely (56%) while fewer than one in five say there are books which should be banned (18%); a quarter are not at all sure (26%). The older and less educated people are, the more likely they are to say that there are some books which should be banned completely. Opinions on banning books are linked to political philosophy: almost three quarters of Liberals (73%) say no books should be banned, compared to six in ten Moderates (60%) but only two in five Conservatives (41%) who say no books should be banned.

The Misinformation Age: What Happens When A Headline Goes Viral

Article opens with some mention of the power and speed with which social media operates. The article then continues: A news item suddenly creates an opportunity, or a celebrity meltdown jeopardizes a planned book. And in the sudden viral spread of a headline, facts are often the first casualty.

At Running Press, we faced this firsthand just last week. Third-party error and miscommunication went viral and led to the spread of untrue accusations of intolerance and censorship.

Full piece in Publisher's Weekly

A Book's Banning Sparks a Struggle over Gandhi's Legacy

Sir Ben Kingsley in a universally acclaimed bio-epic? Definitely not this time around.

Joseph Lelyveld's new biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India hasn't even hit bookstores in India, but it has already unleashed a firestorm of controversy.

The state of Gujarat, where the icon of the Indian Independence movement was born, has already banned the book. There are some Indian leaders now calling for a national boycott of Great Soul, the latest work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who once covered India for The New York Times.

Full story

Banned Books Returned to Shelves in Egypt and Tunisia

There is an article in the Monday Guardian, "Banned books return to shelves in Egypt and TunisiaWorks by censored authors available again in wake of revolutions." by Benedicte Page. It talks about how books banned in Tunisia and Egypt by the repressive government are now appearing in bookstores and other locations.

"Alexis Krikorian, director of the Freedom to Publish programme at the IPA, said the emergence of these and other formerly banned books within Tunisia was "very good news". Whether censorship still existed with regard to new titles was a separate issue, he added, but it was likely that the legal submission procedure, which under the old regime had been misused to block books at their printers, "no longer applies".

Anecdotal reports are also emerging of once suppressed titles appearing for impromptu sale on street corners and newspaper kiosks across Egypt. Salwa Gaspard of joint English/Arabic language publisher Saqi Books said accounts in the Arabic press told of books that had been hidden for years in private basements now once more seeing the light of day.

Cairo is also to hold a book fair in Tahrir Square – the focus for protests against former president Hosni Mubarak – at the end of March, according to Trevor Naylor of the American University of Cairo Press bookshop, which is based in the square. Naylor told the Bookseller that the event had been planned in the wake of the cancelled Cairo Book Fair, which was abandoned in January in the face of growing political unrest. -- Read More

A Ray of Hope in Tunisia...Previously Banned Books for Sale

From The Irish Times:

LOOKING OUT the window of her bookshop on Avenue Bouguiba, where two dozen curious faces are pressed against the pane to catch a glimpse at her latest display, Selma Jabbes is a picture of quiet satisfaction.

The crowds outside the Al Kitab bookshop are staring at a selection of newly arrived titles under the heading Livres interdits , a selection of books banned under the regime of deposed president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and now freely available for the first time.

Most concern Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi, political repression, Islamism and corruption in the regime.

Al Kitab is still awaiting delivery of its first order of banned books from Europe; those in the window were donated by readers and put on display “to give an idea of how we suffered here”, says Jabbes, a softly-spoken woman greeted by name by many of her customers.

Under Ben Ali’s rule, booksellers required a visa from the interior ministry for every work they wanted to import, and the process could take several months. The list of sensitive subject matter was long and ever-changing, but virtually every foreign title that touched on the president or his entourage, or which denigrated his policies, was strictly prohibited.

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