In celebration of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, I offer you the following list of my favorite banned books, and the reasons they were challenged or banned. What are your favorite banned books?
The Bell Jar‘s discussions of suicide, mental illness, sexuality, and “questionable” life philosophy landed it a solid place on banned book lists worldwide from its publication in 1963.
Blume’s Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret? (1970) was banned because of its discussion of menstruation, puberty, masturbation, and treatment of religion.
Salinger’s classic (1951) was banned for language, sexual references, and descriptions of drunkenness and mental illness.
Ginsberg’s 1956 poems were banned for obscenity. The book was seized by U.S. Customs officials in 1957, cited as unsuitable for children to come across.
Angelou’s 1970 memoir was banned for its vivid descriptions of sex, rape, and race relations.