I want my books to get banned, and so far it's not working out. I've tried. I swear I have. When you write a book series called The Original Sinners that follows the erotic adventures of a dominatrix who is sleeping with a Catholic priest (when she's not sleeping with everyone else), you're really asking to be banned.
Why do I want to get banned, you may ask? Because there's no greater compliment to an author than when one of her books is banned. It's a clear indicator that her subject matter is striking a chord. When the book achieves a certain level of controversy, it ceases to be a work of art and becomes a public safety issue where it's discussed by people who only pretend to know what it's about. In other words, it becomes news.
Alas...I've not gotten banned, burned, or censored. The worst thing that's happened is a few negative reviews (wait, I'm not supposed to write about a dominatrix sleeping with a teenage boy?), and my editor telling me no more snowballing scenes. Turns out there's no hope for my dream to get banned. Too many brave writers have fought the good fight for free speech, and now a writer like me couldn't get herself banned even if she wrote a romance novel where the teenager heroine strips naked for her priest at his father's funeral (I promise, it's much more romantic than it sounds).
What does it take to get a book banned these days? I studied the challenged books on the ALA website and it's obvious that if I want to get my next book challenged, censored, or burned, I'll need one or more of the following elements:
- A character who impersonates a military officer (Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey)
- Poor architectural decisions (The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls)
- Inclusion of three or more penguins (And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson)
- A story that is scary and/or told in the dark (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz)
- A reference to Walmart for any reason, which is literally the most offensive thing you can do in a book ever (Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich)
Since the sexual content of the Original Sinners series hasn't gotten me banned yet, my next books will star three adorable penguins who live in a glass castle, impersonate military personnel at their local Walmart, and tell scary stories (in the dark).
Until then, I'd like to sincerely thank all the trailblazers who came before me and made it possible for me to write my naughty books. Enjoy this list of controversial books by women writers.
13 CONTROVERSIAL BOOKS BY WOMEN WRITERS
Book: Beloved by Toni Morrison
Book: The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Book: The Story of O by Pauline Réage
Book: Kindred by Octavia Butler
Book - Forever by Judy Blume
Book: Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller
Book: Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
Book: The Giver by Lois Lowry
Book: Belinda by Anne Rice
Book: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Book: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough and The Saint by Tiffany Reisz
Book: Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
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