Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Don't Read? Do Tell

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 Ana├»s 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.”

1 comment:

Bronwyn Green said...

That's beyond messed up. :(