Censored!! A Selection of Books Banned in Years Past

1984

By George Orwell

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While the totalitarianism that provoked George Orwell into writing 'Nineteen Eighty- Four' seems to be passing into oblivion, his harrowing, cautionary tale of a man trapped in a political nightmare has had the opposite fate, and its relevance and power to disturb our complacency seem to grow decade by decade. This book was challenged in 1981 in the state of Florida in large part because it was viewed as "pro-Communist."

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Beloved

By Toni Morrison

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It is the story--set in post-Civil War Ohio--of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of "iron eyes and backbone to match." Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing intruder who calls herself Beloved.

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Different Seasons

By Stephen King

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A collection of four tales of outlandish, commonplace and surprising terror: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank redemption -- Apt pupil -- The body -- The Breathing Method.

It has been challenged and removed from shelves in various school libraries.

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Doctor Zhivago

By Boris Pasternak

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“The best way to understand Pasternak’s achievement in Doctor Zhivago is to see it in terms of this great Russian literary tradition, as a fairy tale, not so much of good and evil as of opposing forces and needs in human destiny and history that can never be reconciled . . . [Zhivago is] a figure who embodies the principle of life itself, the principle that contradicts every abstraction of revolutionary politics.”—from the Introduction by John Bayley

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Don Quixote: Complete and Unabridged

By Miguel de Cervantes

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Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. It was banned in Madrid for the sentence "Works of charity negligently performed are of no worth."

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Gone with the Wind

By Margaret Mitchell

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Spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara never stops loving the married Ashley Wilkes even as she faces the hardships of life during the Civil War and the changes brought about by Reconstruction.
 

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Grendel

By John Gardner

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The Beowulf story retold from the monster's point of view reveals the darker side of human nature and values.
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Lady Chatterley's Lover

By D.H. Lawrence

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"Lady Chatterley's Lover is one of the most beautiful and tender love stories of modern fiction. It is perhaps Lawrence's greatest book. Inspired by the long-standing affair between Frieda, Lawrence’s German wife, and an Italian peasant who eventually became her third husband, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is the story of Constance Chatterley, who, while trapped in an unhappy marriage to an aristocratic mine owner whose war wounds have left him paralyzed and impotent, has an affair with Mellors, the gamekeeper. Although Lawrence wrote the book in 1928, it was banned in Britain, Australia and the United States. Penguin Books went to court in 1959 in order to publish this book. It became a best seller immediately."

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Leaves of Grass

By Walt Whitman

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"Leaves of Grass" inaugurated a new voice, style, and optimistic, bombastic vision into American letters, one that took the nation itself as subject. This classic was "Banned in Boston" in 1881 for its language.

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Peyton Place

By Grace Metalious

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Peyton Place, published in 1956, has sold over 10,000,000 copies world-wide and remains one of the biggest selling novels of all time. Its sequel, Return to Peyton Place, published in 1959, was a national best-seller for many, many months. It was considered absolutely scandalous when it was published. Peyton Place stirred controversy with its explicit—for the time—depictions of sex and sins in a small New England town. Today, the once shocking novel and its sequel seem tame, and are taught in college English courses as classics of their time, well-written and honest in the evocation of the passions, jealousies, and secrets of small-town America. In 1957, it was made into an award-winning movie starring Lana Turner.

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