BANNED BOOKS WEEK: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

This week the Library’s blog posts will be devoted to the freedom to read as we celebrate all types of literary work during Banned Books Week, which begins today. The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom established this annual event in 1982 in response to the fact that thousands of books are banned or challenged every year. Faculty and staff of the law school were asked to write a short tribute to their favorite banned book; we plan to publish the tributes all week.

Our first blog post is from Kim Koppen, who works in the Library Technology Group at the law school:

1984, by George Orwell (published in 1949)

1984 and kimI enjoyed 1984 because I feel it’s such an emotionally intense story dealing with the struggle to experience things that are incredibly basic that we often take for granted. While it’s understandably considered a bleak story with a bleak ending, it also carries a glimmer of hope in humanity’s drive to persevere through horrible circumstances. I found the use of language and many of its messages really impressive and thought-provoking. I like the quote, “The best books…are those that tell you what you know already.”

Kim’s favorite, by British author George Orwell, is the book that made such terms as Big Brother and Newspeak part of everyday speech. A recent blog post from The Daily Beast  purports to reveal the author’s reasons for writing the book, which he began in 1944.

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