Filthy. Blasphemous. Obscene. Unacceptable.
This month, the Naked Girls had the opportunity to honor Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. (For more info on this important cause, please check out ala.org )
I had been super excited about this event!! Oddly enough, in Chicago’s Naked Girls history, this was the first time we’ve explored this theme. I’m crossing my fingers though that it will have an annual spot! I was delighted to be able to read two classics, one of which has been a favorite target of censors since its publication, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, as well as Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
The Catcher in the Rye was challenged as recently as 2009 while Slaughterhouse-Five was again challenged in 2007. Mind you, the publication of these novels was 1945 (Catcher in the Rye) and 1969 (Slaughterhouse-Five). Seriously, can we get over our big, bad selves?! Sitting at my computer, typing this blog, I have instant access to a world of bomb-making tutorials and porn at my fingertips, yet people are still challenging a classic novel as wonderful as The Catcher in the Rye? I just don’t understand…
The highlight of the evening for me though, was reading And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. If you are unfamiliar with this book, let me begin by informing you that And Tango Makes Three was the most challenged book of 2006, 2007, and 2008. The book dropped to second position in 2009 but returned to the top slot in 2010. Most are inclined to think that a banned book with a title like that MUST be some salacious, dirty novel…right? Well, it’s actually a children’s picture book. Oh, but that’s not all – it’s not even a fictional novel!! All of the events in the story are true and based on three penguins that currently reside in the Central Park Zoo. Banned – 5 YEARS!!! And the story is just lovely. It literally brought tears to the eyes of several people in attendance that night. Please, go and read this beautiful book and exercise your rights!!!!
Join us on Friday, October 28th for our third annual Naked GHOULS Reading and while you’re on nakedgirlsreading.com making those reservations, check out the excerpts from our five finalists for the second annual Naked Girls Literary Honors Awards. After you’ve enjoyed the excerpts, go and SUPPORT THE WRITTEN WORD! Contribute to the entirely Fan and Reader funded literary prize to be given away in November 2011. Check out the Kickstarter link below for details.
See you soon ~ Greta