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Monthly Reading Challenges > September 2019: Bonus Challenge - Read a Banned Book

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message 1: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

message 2: by Samy (last edited Sep 19, 2019 11:02PM) (new)

Samy | 98 comments I read July's People by Nadine Gordimer from South Africa.

It was banned under the apartheid regime when first published in 1981 and again much later in 2001 in schools in the Gauteng province of South Africa for "questionable" subject matter and language, as well as for being patronising and for lacking an overt condemnation of racism.

I enjoyed this book and found it to be very well written. It explores the topics of racism and power relationships (racial, gender, urban v rural, class differences, marriage, etc.) but in a way that the reader must draw their own conclusions and it seems to me that the words, actions and thoughts of the characters lead to one examining themselves to uncover their own hypocrisy and patronising attitudes. The setting of the book is that a violent end to apartheid occurs and as a result, a wealthy white family flees to the village of their black servant, whose name is July. They are dependent on him for protection. His family in the village is also not too happy about the new situation. It explores the past and present events and attitudes revealed within the framework of the changed circumstances. I look forward to reading more works by the author Nadine Gordimer.

message 3: by Rosemarie (last edited Sep 24, 2019 12:44PM) (new)

Rosemarie | 2989 comments I read An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen.
This play, written in 1882, was banned in China in 2018. The play was cancelled after one performance. The reason given was "technical problems", but the real reason is probably the theme, which deals with press manipulation, official corruption and pollution. Controls on public expression and ideology are extremely strict in China right now.

At the beginning, I wasn't sure how Dr. Stockwood would deal with all the efforts to silence him, especially since almost every other character caved into pressure. His struggle to convey the truth about a dangerous situation at the public baths makes for a gripping story.

message 4: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 616 comments I read The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien. It was published in 1960 and banned in Ireland for being too sexual. It offended religious figures, especially in the Catholic church who called the book "filth". The book was burned in Irish towns including the author's hometown.

I wish I could say I enjoyed the book, but mostly I found the two young characters overly irritating and unlikeable. The style of writing was quite choppy and did not flow well. Since this was O'Brien's debut, I am hope!ful that I can find one of her later novels that I like better because she is a quite important figure in Irish literature.

message 5: by Miss (last edited Oct 02, 2019 08:13AM) (new)

Miss Naya | 1 comments I read Arabian Nights.
The Arabian Nights" is a collection of tales, which has been banned by Arab governments. a group of lawyers called for banning over obscenity concerns.
Various editions of "The Arabian Nights" were also banned by the U.S. government under the Comstock Law of 1873.

I began my library with this book, it was a gift and I still see them as magical and consider them favorites. a beautiful book that lets your mind fly away to exotic places. It has a solid clever and strong heroine that manages to change her fate by wit alone.

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