Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

The Right to Read

In response to the ongoing rightwing hysteria of school students free access to books Federal legislation was introduced last week that would expand access to school libraries and codify student First Amendment Rights. The Right to Read Act (S. 5064 and H.R. … Continue reading

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get up because a woman is here rising

Watching the courageous young women and men in Iran rise up against their oppressive fundamentalist government I was reminded of the tragic Persian poet Forough Farrakhzad. Sometimes referred to as “the Persian Sylvia Plath,”  although she was a contemporary of … Continue reading

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when the dying speak, they cannot lie

I was sad to read of the passing of the great English author Hilary Mantel. Here in the colonies we became acquainted with her powerful prose through the Wolf Hall trilogy. I thought that I would share this piece from Hilary Mantel’s essay … Continue reading

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It’s That Time of the Year Again

Forty years after Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 to raise awareness about censorship, the issue has taken on new importance across the country. This year more than ever it’s essential that we raise awareness about book banning and … Continue reading

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The Very Definition of Irony

  Even if you do not live in North America you are probably aware that the United States has been experiencing a wave of book bannings and attempts by a vocal neo-Fascist Christian Nationalist minority to censor both library books … Continue reading

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To Live Deliberately

Writer, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. Associated with the Concord-based literary movement called New England Transcendentalism, he embraced the Transcendentalist belief in the universality of creation and the primacy of personal … Continue reading

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Why Orwell’s 1984 Still Matters

Each year around this time someone remembers that George Orwell’s iconic novel Nineteen Eighty- Four was first released in June of 1949. I think that bringing attention to the book is always a valuable exercise, now more than ever. Ironically, in … Continue reading

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Banned But Unburnable

To protest widespread book bans in the U.S., Canadian author Margaret Atwood has collaborated with her publishers on a fireproof edition of her most famous—and often banned—novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.  The unique issue was produced by Rethink, an independent creative agency, and made in … Continue reading

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“Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.”

Sadly, book banning and even book burning continues to be in the news here in the USA. Just this week, I saw a video of members of a State legislature demanding the books that they found objectionable be removed from … Continue reading

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Another Reason To Love Brooklyn

When I was a little kid my Grandmother used to grudgingly take me to the Brooklyn Library on Flatbush Avenue. She wasn’t much of a reader and never understood how I could spend so much time looking at books. But … Continue reading

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