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Thu Sep 19, 2013, 11:33 AM

The Invisible Man

Whenever a book is banned that I have not read I rush out to buy it. Preferably in hard-cover so I can save it for my children. Not much makes me angrier than censorship by small-minded bigots. This is what happened in North Carolina:

Invisible Man Banned: Ralph Ellison's Landmark Novel Banned From School Libraries

Posted: 09/19/2013 10:40 am EDT

A lack of "literary value" has apparently left Ralph Ellison's landmark 1952 novel, Invisible Man banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C., the Asheboro Courier-Tribune reports.

According to the Tribune, a parent of an eleventh grader wrote the school district expressing her disapproval of the book's availability to students stating:

The narrator writes in the first person, emphasizing his individual experiences and his feelings about the events portrayed in his life. This novel is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers. You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge. This book is freely in your library for them to read.

As the school district's policy requires, the parent's complaints lead to votes on the school and district levels. Both held that the book should remain available to students in the library. However, in a 5-2 vote, the school board voted to ban the book, with one board member, Gary Mason, stating, "I didnít find any literary value."

Mason's blunt assessment however, runs counter to decades of intellectual criticism of the novel, which won the 1953 National Book Award for fiction, beating out Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and John Steinbeck's East of Eden.

In 1995, writing for the New York Times, Roger Rosenblatt praised the novel as a masterpiece.

"Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," which won the National Book Award in 1953, was instantly recognized as a masterpiece, a novel that captured the grim realities of racial discrimination as no book had, " Rosenblatt wrote. "Its reputation grew as Ellison retreated into a mythic literary silence that made his one achievement definitive."

Including the book in its list of 100 Best English Language Novels since 1923, Time literary critic Lev Grossman also expressed great admiration for Ellison's work ...

More here, including a nifty slide show: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/19/invisible-man-banned_n_3953740.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books

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TBF Sep 2013 OP
yesphan Sep 2013 #1

Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Sep 19, 2013, 11:41 AM

1. Ralph Ellison

another fine Okie.

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