Presented in collaboration with the American Booksellers for Free Expression and seven fellow independently-owned bookstores across the nation to celebrate diversity and freedom of expression. #BannedBooksWeek
We come together to read from those books someone has tried to tell us that we can't.
A Night of Silenced Voices
featuring special guests
Chantel Acevedo, reading from Alison Bechdel's FUN HOME
Edwidge Danticat, reading from Toni Morrison's BELOVED
Patricia Engel, reading from Maya Angelou's I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS
M. Evelina Galang, reading from Sherman Alexie's ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN
Followed by an OPEN MIC opportunity for anyone who would like to read from a banned or challenged book. Join us! Take a stand for literature and diversity. WE READ BANNED BOOKS.
Chantel Acevedo was born in Miami to Cuban parents. She is the author of A Falling Star , winner of the Doris Bakwin Award; and, Love and Ghost Letters, winner of the Latino International Book Award. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Auburn University, Alabama, where she founded the Auburn Writers Conference and edits the Southern Humanities Review.
Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including Brother, I’m Dying, a National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She lives in Miami.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, violence
Patricia Engel is the author of Vida, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Fiction Award and Young Lions Fiction Award, and the acclaimed novel It's Not Love, It's Just Paris, winner of the International Latino Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, A Public Space, Harvard Review, and Guernica, among other publications and anthologies, and received numerous awards including a 2014 fellowship in literature from the National Endowment for the Arts.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Reason for challenges: racism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
M. Evelina Galang is the author of Her Wild American Self , the novel One Tribe, and Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorous Mystery. She has edited the anthology, SCREAMING MONKEYS: Critiques of Asian American Images. She is currently writing Lola's House: Women Living with War, stories of surviving Filipina WWII “Comfort Women” and is at work on a new novel, Beautiful Sorrow, Beautiful Sky. Galang teaches in and directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami, is core faculty for VONA/Voices: Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation and has been named one of the 100 most influential Filipinas in the United States by Filipina Women’s Network.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, bySherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.
This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened.
Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou's debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
Published: Little, Brown Young Readers - April 2009
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.