Seven days. 16 cities. Countless books and plays.
Banned Books Week is an event to celebrate all the books and plays that almost got the boot throughout history. There’s no doubt we’ll be taking part in it. This month, from September 24th to 30th, organizations will be paying homage to the books that faced challenges, bans, or censorship while being released.
The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund (DLDF), which fights for the First Amendment as well as funding for the arts. Their commemoration to those badass books will be a show called ‘Banned Together: A Censorship Celebration Cabaret‘ that will consist of readings from songs and plays with various acts and scenes that have been disapproved of in the United States. The DLDF’s show will play around the country in 16 cities and at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York City on September 27th.
Image Courtesy of Banned Books Week
This event was first created in 1982 when there was a sudden resistance to certain books entering schools, bookstores, and public libraries. Banned Books Week has a list on their site with all the books the Library of Congress says “had a profound effect on American life.” They’d all been banned or challenged in some way. You may be surprised to find novels like The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee are on the list. When we think of the books that are saturated in U.S. history and book culture, these are usually some of the first we think of. If they, along with others, had been banned, it would have profoundly changed U.S. education. Some of history’s most monumental moments might’ve been altered. The world wouldn’t be quite as we know it.
Basically, it would be a big deal.
To honor these books and plays, Banned Books Week is creating all sorts of events and ways to get involved for readers and the book community. This is the 35th year that Banned Books Week has been observed and we are so ready to celebrate something we love. So grab your bookmark, find a comfy spot, and give these books the attention they deserve.
Feature Image Courtesy of Luke Palmer