The Privilege of Having Written a Banned Book


Some may consider it a dubious honor, but I consider it a great privilege that my first novel, Spite Fences, has been banned in many schools. In fact, on a list compiled by the National Council of Teachers of English, it is sandwiched between Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (my very favorite among her books) and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (my all-time favorite book ever written in the whole wide world). The list also contains writers like Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, and the unsurpassed Bill (William Shakespeare, of course.) In moments of immodesty, I like to think that perhaps Spite Fences has been banned because it gives readers much to think about.

Since I was recently asked to give a presentation on my personal experience with book-banning in honor of Banned Books Week, I’ve been giving some thought to the topic of censorship. Below are some interesting quotations about banned books.

My favorite is the first one: “If you control the books, you control the conversation.” What’s yours?

Quotations: Banned Books

1           1.   “If you control the books, you control the conversation.”  – National Coalition Against              Censorship

2          2.  “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

                   ― Joseph Brodsky

  1. “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.”
    ― Heinrich Heine
  1. “Give me knowledge or give me death!” ― Kurt Vonnegut
  1. “Only the nonreader fears books.” -Richard Peck
  1. “To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it.”― Michel de Montaigne

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