New Yorker: Banned Book Bummer

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Censorship, to our way of thinking, is generally bad news. Is there ever a good reason to ban a book? Maybe not, but the cause for a recent Canadian ban on Annabel Lyon’s “The Golden Mean” strikes us as particularly silly. BC Ferries, a maritime transportation service in British Columbia, has removed Lyons’s novel from its bookshops—not because the author penned a controversial scene or racy bit of dialogue, but because the paperback’s cover art features a naked man’s rear-end!


Over at the ABE Books blog, Richard Davies offers this humorous assessment of the offending cover: “It’s a very nice naked bottom and the horse’s naked arse isn’t bad either.” And as for protecting children? “As a father of four-year-old and eight-year-old girls, I can vouch that children wouldn’t give a flying fig about the arse on this book cover.”

Lyons’s own response to the ban seems equally apt. The book will not be available at BC Ferries stores, she writes in a blog entry, “since the trade paperback still features a bare bum on the cover. Oh, BC Ferries. You have one too, you know you do!”

Read more on the New Yorker:

3 thoughts on “New Yorker: Banned Book Bummer

    themisanthropologist said:
    August 23, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    wow…interesting. Is the content of the book even controversial though? You know, when things get banned, the only thing it will do is get more people to want to read or have it….

      inklake said:
      August 23, 2010 at 11:29 PM

      That’s the weird thing, there is nothing controversial about the contents of the book, and except for this unusual exception with BC Ferries, no one has taken exception to the cover either. Unfortunately for BC Ferries, this is a case of judging a book by its cover and it has backfired on them. It’s an excellent novel, highly recommended. And you’re right, a mention in the New Yorker is only going to help sales.

        themisanthropologist said:
        August 23, 2010 at 11:34 PM

        I’m quite curious about this book now. Thanks, I will look out for it in bookstores…

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