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Friday, September 23, 2022

We Read Banned Books: Tracy Carr

Welcome to Banned Books Week 2022. Every year for the past forty years, the book community has joined together to celebrate the freedom to read. We focus on free and open access to information and promote and support those books that have been challenged or banned, even those that we personally don't like or agree with. We've seen an unprecedented amount of challenges in 2022, many of them challenging multiple books instead of just one title. If you are a teacher or librarian and know of a book that has been challenged or banned in your area, you can report it to the Mississippi Challenged Book Index here and the American Library Association here.

We're sharing a staff member's views on a banned book every day this week and urge you to check them out, to read them, and to stand up against book challenges and bans in your local communities, schools, and libraries. 

Deputy Director of Library Services Tracy Carr chose the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin. It was published in 1899 and examines the transformation of Edna Pontellier from housewife and mother to a woman in charge of her own body and decisions. It, along with a collection of other books was challenged for obscenity and/or pornographic material. It also ended Chopin's career, shocking critics and readers alike with its "vulgarity" and "morbidness". Tracy says,

"Kate Chopin's The Awakening is a story of a woman learning to live for herself outside of the role of wife and mother. It's not surprising that this book has been challenged for questioning traditional social and gender roles; at its heart, it's a radical feminist novel."
Censorship divides us. Books unite us. Celebrate the freedom to read.


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