Red Room is proud to join thousands of authors, readers, industry professionals, and others who are passionate about freedom of expression and inquiry in recognizing Banned Books Week,September 25th through October 2nd.
This year's observance comes at a particularly apt time for one Red Room author. Laurie Halse Anderson got the news that a Missouri university professor is trying to remover her 1999 Young Adult novel, Speak (a National Book Award finalist), from local classrooms, calling it"soft pornography" for its two rape scenes. Laurie blogged eloquently here, here, and here about the issue, and her story has led to a phenomenon, with SpeakLoudly.org and thousants of Tweets bearing the #SpeakLoudly hashtag talking about Speak and Banned Books Week. The story has been picked up in mainstream and publishing industry media, including this story in Publisher's Weekly about Penguin (which publishes Speak) taking a full-page ad in The New York Times defending the book and what it has meant to its legions of fans.
Red Room has recognized Banned Books Week by featuring blog posts by authors and members. Three of them are excerpts of op-ed pieces posted on AOL News, so they've received a huge readership. They include:
- Lucy Coats's description of the #SpeakLoudly movement here and here.
- Catherine Ryan Hyde also wrote (for AOL News) about #SpeakLoudly.
- Eugenia Kim recounted how her father fought a book banning in the '60s because he remember repression in Korea.
- Sherry Jones wrote about the threat of self-censorship in an atmosphere of fear.
- Community Coordinator Jennifer Gibbons, who invited you to join Red Room, also blogged about Speak and the "controversy."
This has been an incredible week, and I admire Laurie's and every blogger's persistence and vocal advocacy for freedom of expression and inquiry so much.
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room