Jan 072011

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic by most any measure—T.S. Eliot called it a masterpiece, and Ernest Hemingway pronounced it the source of “all modern American literature.” Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation’s most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: “nigger.”

Twain himself defined a “classic” as “a book which people praise and don’t read.” Rather than see Twain’s most important work succumb to that fate, Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the “n” word (as well as the “in” word, “Injun”) by replacing it with the word “slave.”


Oct 022010

In the Night Kitchen
Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Sendak’s hero Mickey falls through the dark into the Night Kitchen where three fat bakers are making the morning cake. So begins an intoxicating dream fantasy, described by the artist himself as ‘a fantasy ten feet deep in reality’.

I’m not sure why it was banned, but possibly for nudity. The little boy, Mickey, is naked for part of the book, just as many little children are at that age!

Sep 282010

Katherine, in the middle of her senior year in high school, finds herself strongly attracted to Michael, a friend, after a party. As their relationship unfolds, the issue of sex comes up early on, more as an emotional and health issue than as a moral one. Both of them are aware that physical intimacy is both common and complicated. Michael has been sexually active, Katherine hasn’t. Their relationship progresses slowly; they are accompanied on various meetings by her friend, Erica, a realist, who has known Katherine since 9th grade and believes that sex is a physical act and not a romantic act. They are also joined by Michael’s friend, Artie, who, with Erica’s help, explores and acknowledges some uncertainty about his own sexuality.
When they do, by mutual consent, have sex on Michael’s sister’s bedroom floor, they are sure it seals a love that will be “forever.” However, separated for the summer by work that takes them to two different states, Katherine finds herself aware of the limitations of the relationship and ultimately attracted to a tennis instructor, Theo, who is older and more experienced in life. She takes responsibility for breaking the news to Michael when he comes on a surprise visit, the summer she knew was over, and Katherine recognizes the loss as a stage in movement towards more complex, probably more satisfying relationships in the future.

more here => http://bit.ly/dwINKL