Celebrating Banned Books Week 2015
"Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech
to free men from the bondage of irrational fears."
—Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis,
1927 ruling of Whitney v. California
Precocious Iranian girls, gay penguins, birds and bees, hard-living Native Americans, homosexual teens, both American and Russian, and racism—this week is all about banned books here at PEN as we join librarians, booksellers, publishers, and writers to celebrate the freedom to read. Started in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in book challenges and bannings in public schools and libraries, Banned Books Week supports free and open access to information and ideas, even those considered unpopular or unorthodox by some.
Throughout Banned Books Week, September 27–October 3, PEN will be posting essays by writers and translators about the banned books that mean the most to them. Among this year's contributors are Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Ronald Meyer, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Darnell L. Moore, Lidia Yuknavitch, Nina McConigley, and Marian Schwartz. You can read previous contributors here.