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Fear and Censorship

I see the word ‘triggers’ a lot in relation to reading. Authors warn readers of possible triggers whereas certain actions or situations may cause harm to a reader mentally, bodily and even spiritually. Recently an author pulled her debut novel out of publication because a book reviewer disagreed with the theme of the book. The author wrote a novel based on her own life and the culture she left when she immigrated to the United States. The protagonist of the book encountered human trafficking, slavery, and forced prostitution in the country where she was born and countries where she l lived enroute to America. The book’s intended audience was older teens to adult. The editor and publishing company explained that the book wasn’t pornographic or violent but a young woman’s life story as fiction. The result? The author stopped publication because she didn’t want to offend anyone. Think of all the books that we may have been denied because they might “offend someone.” Readers have different tastes in books. I might be offended by a book you liked and you might think the stories I like are boring. Religion, political views, lifestyles or themes are perceived in different ways, especially in books, movies and entertainment. The bible is the most banned book in history. The US and many other countries don’t censor book production at this time. Things could change. What if reading was prohibited and the government burned all books? Farenheit 451by Ray Bradbury is science fiction as of now. That’s the temperature at which paper burns. Should we listen to one reviewer’s opinion as to what is dangerous to read? Do you think people are able to decide for themselves what to read? Was the young author wrong to not let her book out into the world? Are there any books that you would be disappointed not to have read? What would you do if some group, organization, or even the government, came and took your books away? Writers, would you let someone tell you what you could or couldn’t write?

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