Banned Books Around the World

October 4, 2012

As Banned Books Week comes to a close, we shift our gaze upon the censorship of authors on an international scale. Below is a list of 17 books that have been banned in the last decade. The original version of this list can be found in WLT's censorship issue published in September 2006.

Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), banned in several U.S. states.

O Zahir

Paulo Coelho (Brazil), O Zahir (2005; Eng. The Zahir, 2005), banned in Iran

Chon Vang

Duong Thu Huong, Chon vang  (Eng. No Man's Land, 2005), banned in Vietnam [see review in the September 2006 issue of WLT.]

Iran Awakening

Shirin Ebadi, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope (2006), banned in Iran [winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003]

From a Crooked Rib

Nuruddin Farah, From a Crooked Rib (1970, 2006), banned in Somalia


Ismail Kadare, Pasardhësi (2003; Eng. The Successor, 2005), banned in Albania

Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi

Joseph Lelyveld, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India (2011), banned in India

Da Jiang Da Hai

Lung Ying-tai, Da Jiang Da Hai 1949 (2009; Big River, Big Sea — Untold Stories of 1949, 2009), banned in China

Stick Out Your Tongue

Ma Jian, Stick Out Your Tongue (2006), banned in China [see review in the September 2006 issue of WLT.]


Mian Mian, Tang (2000; Eng. Candy, 2003), banned in China

La derniere enveloppe

Pierre Mujomba, La dernière enveloppe (2003; The last envelope), banned in Congo

Taslima Nasrin

Taslima Nasrin, Shei Shab Andhakar (2004; All that darkness), banned in Bangladesh

Stanley Park, FIFA 192 

Stanley Park (England), FIFA 192: The True Story Behind the Legend of the Brunei National Football Team (2004), banned in Brunei

Vida y oficios 

Raúl Rivero, Vida y oficios: Los poemas de la cárcel (2006), banned in Cuba

Cerita dari Blora

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Cerita dari Blora (1963; Eng. All That Is Gone, 2004), banned in Indonesia [see review in the September 2006 issue of WLT.]

Serve the People!

Yan Lianke, Serve the People! (2006), banned in China

Kina ve ayna

Müslüm Yücel, Kina ve ayna (2003; Henna and mirror), banned in Turkey