Banned Books Month is Coming!

September is all about banned books here at PEN American. We reached out to writers, editors, literary illuminati, and PEN staff to write about the banned books that matter… More

Final Words: Book Banning Is Not Dead

In April of 2011, a visit with a close friend sparked the same question that was asked each time we were together: What are you working on now? I… More

On William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

While ideological book banning is infuriating, banning out of ignorance and vague religiosity are, to me, even more galling. William Faulkner’s classic, As I Lay Dying, has been banned… More

On Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

Say that Lolita is hilarious and excruciating and sad—no novel ever had a sadder last line—but not boring, surely. We throb with the miserable Humbert as he creeps across… More

On James Joyce’s Ulysses

Until I graduated from college—and had to find a job, get my heart broken, bear the burden of being a twenty-something during recession, watch friends go to rehab, watch… More

On Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War (along with its sequel) has been consistently challenged and criticized by schools, libraries, and parents for its language, sexual content, violence, and bleak message. At the… More

On John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

The story is a tragedy predicated on the idea that working one’s fingers to the bone for little pay and no security is fundamentally corrupt. It’s a tragedy about… More

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