“Parthenon of Books” Memorializes Book Burning, Celebrates Intellectual Freedom

“Parthenon of Books” Memorializes Book Burning, Celebrates Intellectual Freedom

Book Culture

  In a place where thousands of books were once burned en masse, a monument to free speech and the power of knowledge towers into the sky.   Image courtesy of Universes in Universe   Designed by artist Marta Minujín, The Parthenon of Books was constructed out of plastic sheeting, steel, and nearly 100,000 banned books from all over the world, with titles including “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity”, and “The Satanic Verses”. Minujín had designed a similar structure in her home country of Argentina in 1983, intending it to be a response to the repressive …

New Zealand Bans a Book for the First Time in Over 20 Years

New Zealand Bans a Book for the First Time in Over 20 Years

Ted Dawe’s young adult novel Into the River has been placed on the “restriction order” in his home country of New Zealand, a move which bans the book nationwide. The book ban, New Zealand’s first in 22 years, has sparked a lively debate about free speech and censorship. Dawe’s book is about a Maori boy from rural New Zealand who has to adapt to life in an elite boarding school. Into the River won critical praise after its 2013 release, even winning a book of the year award in New Zealand. But interest groups and parents assert that the novel’s use of offensive …

Italian Authors Protest Ban of LGBT Books in City Schools

Italian Authors Protest Ban of LGBT Books in City Schools

When the mayor of Venice banned picture books about same-sex families from the city’s schools, he got a little more than he bargained for. In protest, more than 250 Italian authors have asked that their books also be pulled from school shelves. The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, was just elected last month. One of his first acts was to remove certain books from city schools. He has already removed about 50 different books from classrooms and libraries all over the city, including books about same-sex couples, books about racial discrimination, and books about physical discrimination. Under pressure, some of these books have already been …