This past week has been Banned Books Week, the ALA sponsored event that celebrates books and raises awareness of censorship. It’s hard to imagine that in the ‘age of information’ censors are still trying to tell us what we can or cannot read.
But, it’s interesting to note that almost any book that has been well-liked has been challenged to some degree. Why? Mainly because they rock the boat. They offer a different viewpoint from the norm. Isn’t that what originality and creativity is about? Showing the world how to see things from a different perspective and get out from our enclosed box and blinders. Isn't that what's it's all about?
Granted some material could be deemed inappropriate for a certain age group. But, turn on the TV and you could easily see sexually explicit material, offensive language, violence, homosexuality and anti-family. All the subjects considered unsuitable by censors. Doesn’t make sense, at least to me.
Last year, the ALA’s list of the top ten most frequently challenged books were as follows:
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. 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
As a writer do you concern yourself with whether or not what you’re writing crosses the line of what is deemed the norm? Should we concern ourselves with it?
Personally, I think if you’re writing from the heart, whether you cross the invisible line created by censors or not, you are writing pure.
Till next time,