Banned Books Week

September 25th marks the beginning of Banned Books Week. The observance began 28 years ago in response to the alarming number of books that are challenged each year by individuals and governments.

Since its inception, the week has served as a celebration of intellectual freedom and the importance of the First Amendment. NYRB Classics salutes Banned Books Week and the insuppressible power of the written word. Here are a few of the unforgettable authors we have brought back into print who have faced censorship in the United States and elsewhere:

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Author of Memories of the Future
This book collects some of his finest stories that were banned in Russia.

Alberto Moravia
Author of Contempt and Boredom
Banned from publishing under Mussolini, and with many works on the Catholic Church’s index of censored books, he emerged after World War II as one of the most admired and influential twentieth-century Italian writers.

Edmund Wilson
Author of Memoirs of Hecate County
Attacked in court when originally published in 1946 and banned in New York state for several years, “The Memoirs of Hecate County” contains six related stories and novelettes, including the infamous “Princess with the Golden Hair.”

Vladimir Sorokin
Author of The Queue and Ice
His work was banned in the Soviet Union, and The Queue, was published by the famed emigre dissident Andrei Sinyavksy in France in 1983.

Andrey Platonov
Author of Soul and The Foundation Pit
The Soviet writer Andrey Platonov saw much of his work suppressed or censored in his lifetime.

Vasily Grossman
Author of Life and Fate, Everything Flows, and The Road
On its completion in 1960, Life and Fate was suppressed by the KGB. Twenty years later, the novel was smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores, and endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

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