VICE has launched a new literary series called ”Behind the Bars: Guantánamo Bay, Stories From the World’s Most Notorious Prison.” The editors behind this series have posted recipes, essays, poems, satire pieces, a fable. One of the sections in this series explores the books that may have been banned from the prison library.
According to the editor’s letter, an assortment of writers, scholars, and public figures have been brought on to examine “the list of books that are reportedly banned from GTMO—including their own—and tried to figure out why.” Some of the titles that can’t be accessed at this institution include The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass, and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. The New Yorker staffer Ariel Levy looked into Frank’s famous Holocaust memoir; here’s an excerpt from her article:
“The starkest difference between the captivity of Anne Frank and those in Guantánamo Bay is that Anne Frank and her family were in hiding. It must be so surreal for those in Gitmo to know that the whole world knows they’re there. We all know and it doesn’t seem to matter. Anne and her family’s whole plight is to remain invisible, to remain secret. In that sense it’s confounding that the book is banned at Guantánamo—the family couldn’t be making any less trouble. What more could you want from a prisoner than invisibility and silence?”