How right Delia is, stories will always have a special place in our hearts.
Throughout history readers have turned to fiction for a break from their daily world, an escape. A book I picked up recently speaks to this issue and another one that crosses my mind occasionally: censorship.
Venus Bound: The Erotic Voyage Of The Olympia Press And Its Writers which, aside from offering great glimpses into the careers of ground breaking writers Henry Miller, Samuel Beckett and Anaïs Nin to name a few, tells the story of Olympia Press--a publisher that put into print erotic stories considered “too hot” for the censored post-WW II British and American market.
It’s been a while since WWII, but censorship is still around. I myself have been “censored.” It’s gotten to be a joke with my writer friends (who were the only people I’d told, until now.) I laugh now, but back then–after I got over the shock–I was pretty upset. The irony is that the book that was “banned” from the local library was His Friday Girls, a super sweet YA I wrote as Melissa Ford. HFG is about a girl who has the nerve to stand up for herself and her beliefs. The librarian’s reason for banning this squeaky clean book that Romantic Times said “...reminds readers that a young woman's value lies not in her looks, but in her mind and heart” was that the Melissa Ford book that came out over a year earlier was a gritty YA suspense, The Keeper. The librarian hadn’t read that book either, but she assumed that since TK has some intense R.L. Stine-esque scenes HFG would too.
Censorship is one thing, but judging written works before reading them? As my son would say, “That’s messed up.”