Think of your favourites books. Chances are some of them were banned in the past for various reasons, like the depiction of desire, or profanities. The act of banning a book is actually counterintuitive, if you think about it. It opens a dialogue and provides free publicity.
Here are some recommendations for books that were challenged:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I read this for school when I was 15. Banned for depiction of rape and racial language.
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
A recent read. Banned for sexual scenes, homosexuality, and profanities.
Every dystopian book you can think of (go figure): Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Giver, and most importantly, 1984 which I have yet to read!
Dystopian novels are primarily banned for their criticism of capitalist and totalitarian governments, and the suppressing of human rights and liberties.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Again, I read this for school when I was young. Banned for profanities and violence.
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Banned for obscenity.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Banned for overt sexuality of an adulteress… Flaubert was put on trial on charges of immorality and obscenity.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Similarly, Wilde was put on trial. His book involved homosexuality and was described as being “vulgar” and dirty.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Banned for depicting sexual abuse and rape.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Banned for including topics like drug use, masturbation, homosexuality etc.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
A graphic novel banned for portrayal of violence and radical islam.
“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”
[I saw hate in a graveyard — Stephen Fry, The Guardian, 5 June 2005]”
― Stephen Fry
Banned Books I plan on reading soon:
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov (yeah, i can wait for this one)
- Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston