Updates and Developments
Here's an interesting interview with Susanna Kaysen, whose novel GIRL, INTERUPTED, was recently banned:
"I don't think anybody should tell anybody else what to read," she said. "Thoughts are free."In this day and age when everyone, including all the authors I know, are turning themselves into pretzels over the question of "age-appropriate," I thought this comment was interesting:
Kaysen did say she could understand her book being banned more than she could the recent banning of the performance of "Grease" at Fulton High School in Fulton, Mo.
"We've all seen civilizations that ban books, and we've seen how well they've turned out," Kaysen said. "It's not a good way to go."
She said she thought the Christian Civic League of Maine's description of "Girl, Interrupted" as "inhuman and unnatural" was a bit odd, but she added that everyone is entitled to an opinion.
"I have to tell you, I think it is an honor to have my book banned," she said. "It's an honor. I am honored."
"I didn't write it for an audience," [Kaysen] said. "I wrote it because I'm a writer."In other news, a book by Gary Paulsen, Harris and Me, has been removed from a junior school reading list because of parental objections about "animal cruety":
Asked if she thought her book was appropriate for 14- and 15-year-olds to read, the author replied: "Who is anybody to decide what is appropriate to read? It's insane."
Nancy Wagner, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction...explained that by seventh grade, students have seen tragedy and divorce and violence in the world and are ready for a dose of realism.
"They're tired of stories where everything turns out right," Wagner said. "They really like something that has some real life to it. It challenges kids about what's right and challenges them to make those good decisions."