4 More Banned Books You Should be Reading

Riley Blue

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

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When was it banned

The book was believed to be culturally insensate, anti-family, and blatantly portrayed the use of drugs, alcohol, smoking, and gambling. It’s also considered controversial for the use of affronts related to homosexuality and mental disability.Published in 2007, the book earned a fair share of censure in the first year of its publication, until it was banned in some countries from publication in 2008.

What it is about

The book is about 14-year-old Junior, whose physical disabilities ostracize him from his friends. Used to being a misfit always, the teenager tries to break free of stereotypes surrounding him since birth. Sadly, all his life does is take a downhill turn from then on.

Why you should read it

This is a powerful book I’d recommend to anyone looking for a glimpse into contemporary life on an Indian reservation. It makes for a great story to share at home in the evening or on a long car ride with the family.Funny, poignant, and heartbreaking, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is a must-read for everyone. Alexie is a gifted writer. I look forward to reading more of his work

4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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When was it banned

Banned almost as soon as it was published, in 1955. The editor of the Sunday Express called Lolita ‘the filthiest book I have ever read.’ It was banned in France in 1956 because it was pornography.There were no such restrictions, however, in the US.

What it’s about

It tells the story of a scholar born in Paris, Humbert, infatuated by young women, or “nymphets,” as he fondly calls them. After shifting to a small New England town, he becomes obsessed with the 12-year-old daughter of Charlotte Haze. Humbert marries the mother, hoping to woo the daughter in the process.Father and daughter later elope, running from town to town in an attempt to shield the true nature of their relationship from the world.

Why you should read it

On the surface, Lolita is a pretty straightforward novel. But beneath its skin is a multiverse of clever wordplay, depictions of intense moral dilemma, and a deep delve into the human psyche.It’s a must-read for adults with a penchant for something out of the ordinary. This book portrays the darkness humans are capable of and shows us to what extent people are willing to stoop to satisfy their basic desires.

5. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

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When was it banned

First published in 1988, The Satanic Verses angered many Muslims, and Rushdie was accused of blasphemy.In 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa against the author, ordering him to be killed on sight.The anger against the book was such that it resulted in a spree of killings, attempted killings, and bombings among Muslims worldwide. Accused of being blasphemous and anti-religion among the Muslim community around the world, several countries reacted quite violently against the publication and distribution of this book. Even in the US, a few bookstores refused to sell it after many death threats were received.

What it’s about

The book is about how a plane crash alters the lives of the two protagonists. An emigrant Saladin Chamcha has his life torn apart, while the other survivor, Gibreel Farishta, a Bollywood superstar, builds his world anew from scratch.

Why you should read it

This novel's core idea is centered around the need to understand one must create their own ideas. Often people tend to be so consumed by the worldviews thrust on them by their conditioning that they learn to ignore the question “What are my own ideas?” “Who am I apart from these things taught to me from childhood?”Salman Rushdie’s take on identity and the insightful look at the importance of thinking critically before blindly believing any doctrine is a must-read for every person.

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

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When was it banned

The content of the book was apparently too bold to digest for the Indian masses because many scenes portrayed sexual relationships between people of two different castes, and more importantly, sex between an upper caste lady and an untouchable.This book was initially banned for a year. Then, the author took the issue up with a court that eventually overturned the ban on the grounds that a valuable piece of literature should not be banned just because of some social issues.

What it’s about

Published in 1996, the debut novel of Arundhati Roy went on to win the Man Booker prize in 1997. A heartbreaking tale of love and loss written with spell-binding beauty.

Why you should read it

Roy’s debut novel that went on to win the Man Booker Prize in 1997 is a must-read for any literature lover. The characters are well-crafted, and the writing is beautiful. It will feel as if Roy has disguised poetry as prose.You can read it like a social commentary on the caste-based discrimination prevalent in India, or you can read it like a heartfelt love story. Either way, this is going to end up as one of the best books you have ever read.

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