What does this perilous time of disease and destruction ask of us as readers and writers?
Three new books spotlight the power of the written word to foster creative responses to confinement and oppression — and to inspire deep change within us.
Azar Nafisi’s Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times, Elena Ferrante’s In The Margins: On The Pleasures of Reading and Writing and Anna Quindlen’s Write for Your Life are all about the transformative possibilities that underlie political, social and personal crisis.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
The American Library Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and more than two dozen other organizations on Tuesday formed a coalition to fight the far-right’s record-breaking censorship barrage—wherein nearly 1,600 books were targeted for removal from public shelves and schools across the United States in 2021.
The goal of Unite Against Book Bans—which also includes the Authors Guild and prominent publishers such as Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster—is “to empower individuals and communities to fight censorship and protect the freedom to read,” according to the ALA.
“This is a dangerous time for readers and the public servants who provide access to reading materials,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said in a statement. “Readers, particularly students, are losing access to critical information, and librarians and teachers are under attack for doing their jobs.”
The setting of a book can play a massive role in its tone and memorability. The best authors can bring a place to life and make the story feel much more real because of it. That means that the choice of where to set a book is crucial.
Many authors simply set their books where they live, drawing on their day-to-day lives for inspiration. Others find locales that match the plot or feel of the story: noir set in California vs New York, for instance, account for two distinct subgenres.
So what are the states that draw in authors, and which ones are sorely lacking literary representation? You can place your guesses now (sheer population size is a good place to start), but Crossword Solver has done the work of tallying up all the U.S. location tags on Goodreads, so let’s dive into their results.
Campaigns that started with criticizing school board members and librarians have turned their attention to tech companies such as OverDrive and Epic, which operated for years without drawing much controversy.
E-reader apps that became lifelines for students during the pandemic are now in the crossfire of a culture war raging over books in schools and public libraries.
In several states, apps and the companies that run them have been targeted by conservative parents who have pushed schools and public libraries to shut down their digital programs, which let users download and read books on their smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Some parents want the apps to be banned for their children or even for all students. And they’re getting results.
A school superintendent in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, pulled his system’s e-reader offline for a week last month, cutting access for 40,000 students, after a parent searched the Epic library available on her kindergartner’s laptop and found books supporting LGBTQ pride.