Sep 29, 2015
Books, serialized. A discussion of Banned Books Week. And, Don't You Forget About The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.
Special thanks to listener Jeff who emailed us about Serial Box, a new service that is serializing stories online. You can read them online or via an app. You can even listen to audio versions. The first episode, or installment, of each story is free. The first story, Bookburners, has three episodes out as this podcast goes live. Another serial, Tremontaine, starts at the end of October.
It's Banned Books Week (9/27 - 10/3), and we discuss a bit about "banned" vs. "challenged." Thankfully, in the U.S. books have only been challenged lately, and not banned outright (as discussed in a recent Slate article). In New Zealand, however, author Ted Dawe has seen his new book Into the River banned, meaning the book can not be distributed in any way, and it can't even be read out loud.
In honor of Banned Books Week, there's a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge, and a quiz you can take to find out which banned book you are. Of course, you can (and should!) read some banned and challenged books, and can find lists of those here.
Two books that have been challenged:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot was recently challenged in Knox County, TN for being "pornographic." This gripping real-life tale is the story of a poor black woman whose cervical cancer cells were harvested without her or her family's knowledge. Those cells were used in countless scientific breakthroughs that have benefited millions.
Banned for "offensive language, political viewpoint," and for being "politically, racially and socially offensive", Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, is the author's memoir of growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. This was the second graphic novel Ann ever read, and she credits it with helping to change her perceptions of graphic novels.