This Thursday I’m speaking at the British Library as part of Banned Books Week. Among other things I’ll be talking about the ‘banning’ of my own book Unknown Soldiers back in 2007, something I’ve never done before. I shall also be discussing a range of free speech-related issues with the children’s author Melvyn Burgess and Jo Glanville from English PEN. It promises to be an interesting evening. For anyone who wants to come here are the details:
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Banned Books Week: Censorship and the Author
An evening of discussions on the current threat of censorship to literary works and the issues surrounding free speech.
While we might wish to consign book burning to the pages of history, the censorship of books remains a present and pressing concern. In particular, the challenging of books aimed at young adults that deal with teenage issues in an open and direct manner, such as Paper Towns by John Green and JunkÂ by Melvin Burgess, which have become almost commonplace in recent years.
As part of Banned Books Week (25 September to 1 October), join us for an evening with Melvin Burgess and guests.Â Winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Childrenâ€™s Fiction Prize and the LA young adult book of the year award, Burgess is the author of a series of acclaimed but controversial novels for young adults (Junk, Lady: My Life as a Bitch, Doing It) dealing with subjects such as heroin addiction and teenage sex.
This event is taking place at the British Library.
Click here to book tickets.
Banned Books Week was initiated by theAmerican Library Association (ALA) in 1982 in response to an increasing number of challenges in the US to books in schools, bookstores and libraries, and in particular, books aimed at children or young adults.
Islington Library and Heritage Services, along with the British Library and Free Word, areÂ celebrating Banned Books Week and drawing attention to censorship and free speech workingÂ alongside the American Library Association.
Melvin BurgessÂ is the winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal, the GuardianChildrenâ€™s Fiction Prize and the LA young adult book of the year award. He is the author of a series of acclaimed but controversial novels for young adults that deal with subjects such as drug addiction, homelessness, teenage sex and cosmetic surgery.
His first book, The Cry of the Wolf was published in 1990, but it was not until the publication of Junk, a novel dealing with homelessness and teenage heroin addiction, that he achieved mainstream success.
Further award-winning novels include the fantasy Bloodtide (1999) and the controversial Doing it which dealt with teenage sex. His most recent novelHunger was published in 2014.
Matthew Carr is a writer and journalistÂ who has written for a range of publicationsÂ including Esquire, the New York Times, History Today, the Observer, theÂ Daily Telegraph and the Guardian.Â He is the author of Â five non-fiction books and hisÂ first novel,Â The Devils of Cardona,Â was published in June 2016 by Penguin Random House in the US.
Jo Glanville (chair) has beenÂ the Director of English PENÂ sinceÂ 2012, having come fromÂ Index on CensorshipÂ where she workedÂ as an award-winning editor since 2006. She was a BBC current affairs producer for eight years and appears regularly in the media as a commentator on culture and freedom of expression, including in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph andÂ the London Review of Books.