Banned Books Week, Read Russia anthology, and more

September 26, 2014

This week, readers everywhere (us included) celebrated Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read and authors whose books have been challenged, banned, and censored because of their content. Below, find reading lists, author interviews, and general news about banned and challenged books from around the world.

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Responding to Etgar Keret’s op-ed piece for the New Yorker from July, Freddie Moore explores why fiction writers should be political and tackle political issues head-on. (For two perspectives on the role of poets in protest, see our coverage in last week’s lit links.)

Looking for more banned books to read? These six books from the Middle East have all been challenged in at least one country.

After a controversial book was taken off the curriculum in Delaware, the PEN American Center and the National Coalition Against Censorship launched an essay contest for high school students, encouraging entrants to respond to the school board’s ruling. In celebration of Banned Books Week, the winner, Hannah Lowe, was announced.

Anam Khan looks at the history of displacement in Israel, Palestine, Pakistan, India, and other countries for the Mantle.

We are happy to announce that Taiwanese writer Chu T’ien-Wen won the 2015 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature this week, the first female writer to do so in the prize’s history.

Do you know your signature word? In a recent article for Slate, Matthew J.X. Malady talks about what he calls fingerprint words—what they are, how we develop them, and how they spread to others.

For Your Calendar

Starting this week, the Centre Pompidou in Paris will be showcasing over 100 painted works by Marcel Duchamp. Go if you have the chance!

Fun Finds and Inspiration

In addition to Banned Books Week, we also celebrated National Punctuation Day on Wednesday. For those of us who have ever felt like one punctuation mark just wasn’t enough, here’s a list of creative punctuation marks that can help convey a range of mixed emotions.

And when you’re finished looking up new punctuation marks, don’t forget to take this quiz to find out which punctuation mark best fits your personality.

If you enjoy Russian literature or are just craving a good story, check out the new Read Russia anthology online, which is a free-to-download collection numbering close to 500 pages.

Some of the world’s most beautiful languages are also some of the world’s most endangered. The five endangered languages on this list are perfect examples.