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Published in conjunction with the PEN American Center, Burn This Book is a powerful collection of essays that explore the meaning of censorship and the power of literature to inform the way we see the world, and ourselves.

Topics: Censorship, Writing, Civil and Political Rights, Protest, Writers, Provocative, and Essays

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061878817
List price: $8.99
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This collection of essays, edited by Toni Morison, present varying points of view on censorship and the power of literature in the world. One that sticks out in my mind is Pico Iyer's "The Man, The Men at the Station," the story of how he met a trishaw driver in Mandalay, who shares with him a book he wrote and must keep secret. I also quite enjoyed "The Sudden Sharp Memory," by Ed Park, which looks at the banning of the book I am the Cheese and its real and imagined effect on students. Though a few are a bit dense and perhaps overly complex, all the essays in this book present fascinating points of view, and all are very well written.more
Anyone who has read even one book, poem or article or who has seen even one scripted play, movie or television program knows the power of the writer. The eleven writers of the essays in this book flesh out the reasons writing can affect people's emotions and their actions. Toni Morrison calls this power a "necessity," and each of the essays gives a differnet point of view as to why we should all work vigilantly to see that the power of the written word remains freely available to all people everywhere.These essays call into question what happens when writing makes us uncomfortable, makes us angry, makes us sick. The diversity of viewpoints presented includes Salman Rushdie, David Grossman, and Nadine Gordimer. Wherever you fall on the philosophial and political spectrum, you still have to face the question: Where do we draw the line on allowing the freedom of ideas? Burn This Boook says that trying to suppress ideas, and the written expression of those ideas, dehumanizes everyone, and breaks down socila and cultural bonds. If you want to think about these things, and are interested in engaging in a dialogue to answer the questions, this is a good book to start with. If you find these ideas too uncomfortable and would rather avoid the whole subject, I think reading this book is a necessity.more

Reviews

This collection of essays, edited by Toni Morison, present varying points of view on censorship and the power of literature in the world. One that sticks out in my mind is Pico Iyer's "The Man, The Men at the Station," the story of how he met a trishaw driver in Mandalay, who shares with him a book he wrote and must keep secret. I also quite enjoyed "The Sudden Sharp Memory," by Ed Park, which looks at the banning of the book I am the Cheese and its real and imagined effect on students. Though a few are a bit dense and perhaps overly complex, all the essays in this book present fascinating points of view, and all are very well written.more
Anyone who has read even one book, poem or article or who has seen even one scripted play, movie or television program knows the power of the writer. The eleven writers of the essays in this book flesh out the reasons writing can affect people's emotions and their actions. Toni Morrison calls this power a "necessity," and each of the essays gives a differnet point of view as to why we should all work vigilantly to see that the power of the written word remains freely available to all people everywhere.These essays call into question what happens when writing makes us uncomfortable, makes us angry, makes us sick. The diversity of viewpoints presented includes Salman Rushdie, David Grossman, and Nadine Gordimer. Wherever you fall on the philosophial and political spectrum, you still have to face the question: Where do we draw the line on allowing the freedom of ideas? Burn This Boook says that trying to suppress ideas, and the written expression of those ideas, dehumanizes everyone, and breaks down socila and cultural bonds. If you want to think about these things, and are interested in engaging in a dialogue to answer the questions, this is a good book to start with. If you find these ideas too uncomfortable and would rather avoid the whole subject, I think reading this book is a necessity.more
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