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Posts Tagged ‘Toni Morrison’

Comics Take Center Stage For This Year’s Banned Books Week Celebration

banned-comicsThe American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will celebrate Banned Books Week from September 21st to September 27th.

The organization plans to shine a spotlight on graphic novels and comics. Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee, had this statement in a press release: “This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship.”

The American Library Association recently revealed the top ten list of most frequently challenged books for this year. Jeff Smith’s comic series, Bone, occupies the #10 spot. Earlier this year, Smith designed the cover for Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Banned Books Week Handbook. Follow this link to access a free digital copy. Check out the entire list after the jump.

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Fast Food Gets Literary: Jonathan Safran Foer Curates Writing For Chipotle Packaging

chipotlebagsYou might think that eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill is a little bit low brow. But they want to change that. The fast food chain is now featuring original essays written by influential writers on its restaurant packaging.

The author series is called “Cultivating Thought.” Jonathan Safran Foer curated the list of contributors. Participating writers will include:  Judd ApatowSheri FinkMalcolm GladwellBill HaderMichael LewisToni MorrisonSteve PinkerGeorge Saunders and Sarah Silverman. The pieces are all meant to be read in two minutes. The idea is to entertain people while they are scarfing down a burrito.

Here is an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell’s Two-Minute Barn-Raising:

I grew up in Canada, in an area of Ontario where there is a large community of Old-Order Mennonites. “Old Orders,” as they are known, are a religious group who live as if the 20th century never happened. They avoid electricity, drive horses and buggies, leave school at 16, and bail hay by hand. They dress in plain black and white, with straw hats over clean-shaven faces, and when a neighbor’s barn burns down, they gather as a community to put it back up. When I was little, not long after we moved to Ontario, my father heard about a barn-raising down the road. He decided to join in.

Dav Pilkey, Toni Morrison & Sherman Alexie Lead ALA’s Frequently Challenged Books List

captainunderpantsCaptain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie led the  most challenged books of the year list this year.

This is according to the Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, compiled annually by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). The list explores books that have received the most complaints. Check it out:

The OIF collects reports on book challenges from librarians, teachers, concerned individuals and press reports. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness. In 2013, the OIF received hundreds of reports on attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.

We’ve got the whole list after the jump. Read more

Toni Morrison Honors Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards

angelouAuthor Toni Morrison honored writer Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards this evening with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

“It’s a personal pleasure to honor a friend and artist and a legend,” said Morrison, who said how wonderful it is that such a talented person doesn’t put others down. “Instead, Maya Angelou inspires delight as well as awe,” said Morrison. “Her reputation sparkles with elegance, generosity, humor…compassion, and dare I say it, wisdom.”

In her speech, Morrison said that when her son died one Christmas, the very first non-family voice that she heard on the phone was Maya. ”With so much toxicity around in this world, the celebratory social life she offers her friends and colleagues is a blessing,” said Morrison. “And trust me, Maya can cook.” Read more

The Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Year

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It is Banned Books Week from September 22 until 28, and readers around the country are celebrating their favorite challenged books. You can also recognize Banned Books Week Heroes, join the Twitter Party or participate in the Virtual Read-Out.

Below, we’ve linked to free samples of all the books on the American Library Association (ALA)’s annual list of the most frequently challenged library books–follow the links below to read these controversial books yourself.

Follow this link for a list of “all the books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2012 and 2013.”

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Toni Morrison to Headline Google+ Hangout & Digital Book Signing

Novelist Toni Morrison will headline a Google+ Hangout and a digital book signing.

Morrison will join the hangout from Google New York offices on Wednesday, February 27th starting at 3:00 p.m. EST.  You can watch this event online via the Google+ page, Morrison’s Google+ page or the Google Play YouTube channel.

Here’s more about the event: “Using a Wacom tablet, Morrison will sign digital versions of her newest national bestseller, Home, published by the Knopf Doubleday Group, and will be signing the Vintage Books paperback edition of Home for Google employees. The live Hangout celebrates the paperback release of Home, as well as the culmination of Black History Month events sponsored by the Black Googler Network.” (Image Via)

Oprah Winfrey Picks The Twelve Tribes of Hattie as Her Book Club 2.0 Selection

Oprah Winfrey revealed her second Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis. Published by Knopf, the book “tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one indomitable heroine.”

Winfrey explained her choice: “The opening pages of Ayana’s debut took my breath away … I can’t remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison.”

Winfrey will release an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 edition of the book. She will interview Mathis on Sunday, February 3 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday,” but the episode will air on Oprah.com and OWN’s Facebook page and on Oprah Radio’s “Oprah’s Soul Series” on Sirius radio.

Oberon Books Publishes Toni Morrison and Rokia Traoré’s Desdemona

UK publisher Oberon Books has published Desdomona. This play, a re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s Othello, features writing by Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, lyrics by Malian musician Rokia Traoré and a foreword by theater director Peter Sellers.

Here’s more from the release: “Desdemona is an extraordinary narrative of words, music and song about Shakespeare’s doomed heroine, who speaks from the grave about the traumas of race, class, gender, war — and the transformative power of love. Toni Morrison transports one of the most iconic, central and disturbing treatments of race in Western culture into the new realities and potential outcomes facing a rising generation of the 21st century.”

The story focuses on the relationship shared between Othello’s wife and her African nurse Barbary. Morrison became inspired to write the play as a response to Sellars’ 2009 production of OthelloDesdemona first debuted in May 2011 at Vienna’s Theatre Azkent. Productions have ran in Belgium, the United States and Germany. In July 2012, Sellers directed the play at London’s Barbican Concert Hall.

Book Riot’s Start Here Project on Kickstarter

How do you know where to start reading a new author? The Book Riot team hopes to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter for a new book that will help you answer that question. We’ve embedded a video about Start Here above–what do you think?

Here’s more about the project: “[Start Here] tells you how to read your way into 25 amazing authors from a wide range of genres–children’s books to classics, contemporary fiction to graphic novels. Each chapter presents an author, explains why you might want to try them, and lays out a 3-4 book reading sequence designed to help you experience fully what they have to offer. It’s a fun, accessible, informative way to enrich your reading life.”

Start Here will be available in both print and eBook formats. Book Riot has assembled a team of writers, critics, and bloggers to write the essays. The final book will definitely feature guides to the works of  Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, Margaret Atwood, Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Philip Roth.

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Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’ Challenged in Michigan

In a Michigan school district, two parents have challenged an AP English class assignment to read Beloved by Toni Morrison.

The controversial challenge has generated an impressive response in the Plymouth-Canton community, and the school district is currently deciding if they should act on the challenge.

You can share your opinion in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Board of Education suggestion box. Follow this link to email: suggestions@pccsmail.net. According to the board site, “suggestions are reviewed weekly by the Board and your idea may be shared publicly at a Board of Education meeting.”

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