Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web is sponsored by Random House.
“Indeed, the majority of challenges to Blume’s books have come from what she dubbed the ‘Moral Tone Brigade,’ whose main objection to her work is the characters’ use of “obscene language, their sexual curiosity, and the fact that they have the temerity to question the existence of God”—in other words, things that teenagers everywhere have always done, and will continue to do, no matter how many books get banned. But Blume cautions that the targets of the censors are difficult to predict. “I always tell people, ‘You think you’re safe? Think again, because when you’re writing, anything can be seen as dangerous.’ And it’s not just right-wing conservative Christians, either: In a February 2009 School Library Journal article, Blume remembered one lefty, progressive mother who asked that Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing be removed from her daughter’s classroom because it included a scene with a dead turtle. “She said, ‘Don’t you know that reptiles have feelings, and reptiles feel fear?’”
“Almost 90 years after it was written, Romance in Marseille by Claude McKay is getting a chance to reach wider audiences thanks to Penguin Classics. The book’s plot seems contemporary by today’s standards, as it delves into issues of queerness and cultural displacement. For The New York Times, Talya Zax explore’s McKay’s place in the Harlem Renaissance, as well as the book’s long path to publication.”
“Each April, the Festival showcases antiracist writers at American University’s Washington College of Law, assembling a day full of author panels and editorial workshops. Our engaging program draws together a vibrant crowd of authors and attendees committed to engaging in antiracist dialogue that will challenge, inspire, and mobilize.”