Cline Library Reflects on ALA’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books!
As part of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week (September 27 – October 3, 2020), Cline Library is reflecting on the annual event celebrating the freedom to read and how it raises awareness about censorship in literature.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools based upon the objections of a person or group.
Sam(antha) Meier, Archivist for Discovery at Cline Library, is no stranger to banned books. As part of her ongoing research on women’s underground comix, she has interviewed several cartoonists who have faced censorship during their careers-including Alison Bechdel, a recipient of the MacArthur Fellows “Genius” grant- who is the author of the Graphic Novel Fun Home (2006), one of the books on the ALA List of Banned Books.
Fun Home, a graphic memoir which details Bechdel’s reckoning with her closeted father as well as her own coming out story, has frequently been challenged due to its depictions of sex and queerness. Meier observes that many queer and feminist cartoonists like Bechdel have faced opposition to their more explicit works concerning sexuality, ranging from issues getting their work into circulation to library bans to obscenity charges.
If you’re interested in reading more challenged comics by women during this Banned Book Week, check out this list from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.