Water for Elephants and Activism: 15 Years Later

Water for Elephants and Activism: 15 Years Later

Pop Culture

On May 26th of 2006, Sara Gruen published her third novel, Water for Elephants. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the book and the tenth anniversary of the film adaptation.     The story–written during National Novel Writing Month–was met with unprecedented success and took the contemporary literature world by storm. The book was added to recommended reading lists for Advanced Placement exams while simultaneously banned from schools for its explicit sexual content and brutal descriptions of animal abuse. Just five years later, the book was adapted for film with a star-studded cast.   Although this novel falls under …

The Kind of Thinkers Who Write Books and Get Censored (An Introduction)

The Kind of Thinkers Who Write Books and Get Censored (An Introduction)

Let’s not forget that book banning is, fundamentally, conversation banning. A book gets banned when someone with power deems it dangerous, and it is only deemed dangerous when the thoughts dripping through the pages threaten a comfortable yet questionable, well-enough-rooted institution. So, one of the most sensible ways of honoring forbidden literature is to continue the tradition of feeding uncomfortable yet necessary conversations, and partaking in them. So, in celebration of Banned Books Week, I hereby give you a drop’s worth of some of the current thought leaders around the world—authors, activists, visionaries, and public officials— whose discourse is worth …