Authors Unite to Defend Freedom to Read
NEW YORK (AP) — Salman Rushdie, Cheryl Strayed, Carl Hiassen, and Ibram X. Kendi are among hundreds of authors who have endorsed an announcement by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers that calls attention to the 70th anniversary of a Freedom to Read Statement issued by book publishers and librarians during the height of the McCarthy era.
A Rising Tide of Book Bannings
With book bannings surging nationwide over the past two years, the library and publishing associations are urging “all members of the book community” to affirm their commitment to the June 1953 declaration, which includes such propositions as ”It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.”
A Defiant Stand for Freedom of Expression
Sunday’s press announcement reads in part: “Today, as we grapple with a new wave of censorship in schools, libraries, and bookstores targeting a wide range of expression, including fiction and nonfiction, the Freedom to Read Statement remains an important defense of the freedom to write, publish and inquire.”
Supporters of the initiative also include Jennifer Egan, Ron Chernow, Jodi Picoult, along with such organizations as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, the Authors Guild, and the American Booksellers Association.
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