Do you read banned books?

It’s Banned Books Week — when we celebrate books that have been targeted for being obscene, indecent, blasphemous, and seditious. Banning (and sometimes burning) books is popular in the USA, but there’s plenty of censorship going on in Australia, too.

Linguist Daniel Midgley finds the books they don’t want you to read on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Banned Books Week runs the last week in September.
https://www.library.qut.edu.au/blog/2011/09/28/banned-books-week-september-24%E2%88%92october-1-2011/

Check out their site:
http://bannedbooksweek.org/

The American Library Association is behind it all.
http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek

Lots of books get challenged in the USA
http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2012/0409/10-most-challenged-books-on-the-American-Library-Association-s-2011-list
http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/censorship-watch/top-10-challenged-books-2011

but there are plenty of banned books in Australia, too.
http://www.austlit.edu.au/specialistDatasets/Banned/bullockMoore

Science fiction was once a banned import in Australia after WWII:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_science_fiction

Here’s just a partial list of books banned in Australia at one time or another:
http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/special/exhibitions/bannedbooks/exhibition/australia.html

We didn’t get time for Lady Chatterley’s Lover, but here it is in its entirety, thanks to Project Gutenberg.
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100181.txt

Bret Easton Ellis is amused that his book American Psycho gets wrapped in plastic in Australia.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment-old/books-old/bret-easton-ellis-happy-american-psycho-still-wrapped-in-plastic-in-queensland-bookstores/story-e6freqkx-1225902738276

But the author of The Anarchist Cookbook now regrets its publication.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Anarchist-Cookbook-William-Powell/dp/0962303208

Looking for something to read? Try a banned classic:
http://classiclit.about.com/od/ladychatterleyslover/tp/aatp-ban.htm
http://www.highlands.edu/academics/library/banned/books.htm