Would I have become a writer without a mom who encouraged me to read banned books?
Damn, bitch! You’ve got your shit together!
Congrats on the new book deal!
I recently (witching past 2 years) listened to the audiobook of The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, and later couldn’t believe it was on the most-banned books list. I had to think back to what might have been objectionable. Yes there is some difficult content on abuse, but it’s hardly exploitative. Just the opposite - it exposes the culture of abuse and racism. *That* is what is objectionable, not the writing about it 🤦♀️.
Similarly, I also recently read Gender Queer, the graphic memoir that’s tops on the banned book list in a lot of red states. I’m facilitating a PFLAG book club in San Diego and thought this would be an excellent choice. The few scenes that have been trotted out by the antis are completely taken out of context and no worse than a lot of hetero sex scenes teenagers have access to on the internet. They are describing the lived experience of a marginalized identity and aren’t even that graphic anyway. The author agrees that the book is not suitable for younger grades, but upper middle school through high schoolers should definitely have access to it.
Forever Amber-now that brings back memories-probably the first adult novel I read! The banned list is a mark of distinction--and for sure it is a way to get students to want to read these titles! I always considered it a challenge to open the minds of parents as well as students, so teaching To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, when paired with Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, explores injustice ...and no critic will go on record supporting innocent people being judged guilty!
I love how you tied all this together!
All I can say is I'm so proud that you were the one who Baptized my first granddaughter, Zoe.