'Read Out' at VC/UHV Library to examine banned books

Sept. 10, 2011 at 4:10 a.m.

When a book is banned, who gets hurt?

Students and employees at the University of Houston-Victoria and Victoria College, as well as community members, are invited to hear published authors and English faculty discuss this question at the VC/UHV Library's third annual Read Out event.

Uppinder Mehan, interim chair of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences Humanities Division, will discuss why books get banned, who bans them and possible alternatives to an outright ban.

"The banning of books says something about the societies in which they have been banned," Mehan said. "Of course, many works which were initially banned have become hugely important in the literary canon."

Diana Lopez, UHV English instructor and author of "Sofia's Saints," "Confetti Girls" and the upcoming "Choke," will give her views of the publishing industry and share her experiences dealing with controversial material.

"Books are banned for a variety of reasons, from a political viewpoint to content that some find offensive, and the American Library Association publishes a list of banned books as part of an ongoing effort to fight censorship," said David Ticen, instruction librarian and chair of the Read Out. "But just because a book might make someone or some group uncomfortable doesn't mean it offers nothing of value. The Read Out is our way of creating public awareness about this issue."

The Read Out will be held in observance of National Banned Books Week, scheduled this year from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1.

Students, faculty and librarians will read passages from banned books, including Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian," Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wildflower" and "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl."

Refreshments will be served.



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