It appears book censorship is back. Recently, a Tennessee school board voted unanimously to ban Art Spiegelman’s Maus, the award-winning graphic memoir about the Holocaust, from its eighth-grade curriculum. But book banning has been on the rise for years in the U.S., with critically acclaimed novels such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give being frequent targets. It’s in this climate—which should alarm anyone who cares about freedom of speech and the education of young people—that Azar Nafisi and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman are publishing books that deal directly with censorship and the power of writing. Nafisi’s Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times is a guide to reading books amid constant attempts at censorship, and comes equipped with a reading list that includes books by James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and Margaret Atwood—whose books have been targets of right-wing attacks. (Nafisi previously wrote Reading Lolita in Tehran.) Leedom-Ackerman’s PEN Journeys: Memoir of Literature on the Line is a history of the NGO Poets, Essayists, Novelists International, which has charged a worldwide fight against censorship over the past century. The writers will come together for this virtual event to discuss the commonalities between their books, and how they reflect the world we’re all living in today. March 10 via Solid State Books, virtual. Free.

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