From September 30th to October 6th, readers, writers, publishers and booksellers across the United States will be celebrating Banned Books Week in an effort to bring attention to the harmful effects of censorship. Books have been banned in select libraries and schools for a number of years and a number of reasons. Some titles have been challenged multiple times by teachers/school board members/leaders of moral and religious groups because the content expressed within their covers is deemed offensive.
The American Library Association has organized a Virtual Read-Out, inviting lovers of the printed word to read aloud from their favorite banned or censored books. My contribution is a not-so-dramatic reading of one of my favorite passages from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. This book, which happens to be my favorite novel of all time, has come under fire several times in the past for its depiction of slavery, its free use of the word “nigger”, and the loose morals of Scarlett O’Hara. I’m currently on my fourth read-through of this brilliant tome. Eight years have passed since I last picked it up, but I can say that I still love it after all this time; I connect with Scarlett in different ways and, as always, Mitchell’s imagery is some of the best I’ve read in any novel.
It’s also a real tongue-twister to voice out loud!
What’s your favorite frequently challenged book?