Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn your Book

Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn your Book

An Anatomy of A Book Burning

Book - 2013
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Censorship and book burning are still present in our lives. Lawrence Hill shares his experiences of how ignorance and the fear of ideas led a group in the Netherlands to burn the cover of his widely successful novel, The Book of Negroes, in 2011. Why do books continue to ignite such strong reactions in people in the age of the Internet? Is banning, censoring, or controlling book distribution ever justified? Hill illustrates his ideas with anecdotes and lists names of Canadian writers who faced censorship challenges in the twenty-first century, inviting conversation between those on opposite sides of these contentious issues. All who are interested in literature, freedom of expression, and human rights will enjoy reading Hill's provocative essay.
Publisher: Edmonton : University of Alberta Press, c2013
ISBN: 9780888646798
Branch Call Number: 323 .44 HIL
Characteristics: xvii, 33 p. ;,23 cm
Additional Contributors: University of Alberta


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May 12, 2017

This extremely brief book, 33 pages, is based on a lecture by Lawrence Hill after his The Book of Negroes was burned by protestors in Holland. This book, or perhaps pamphlet, is primarily a primer for those who are not informed on the subjects of censorship and book burning. "Dear Sir" would likely stimulate classroom discussion for high school or ESL, and students might actually complete it. There's nothing here for those informed on the subject of censorship though, except perhaps a brief discussion of different meanings of the word "Negro" to black, white, American, and Canadian people. However, Hill does not explore a central issue in the debate around his own book, entitled "Het Negerboek" in Dutch. How does "Neger" translate into English -- Negro, the other N-word, or something different entirely? For an informed person, "Dear Sir" is hardly worth the half-hour it takes. However, for those new to the topic, it's easy to read and might stimulate further research.

(A good way to learn more about censorship is by looking at the annual display set up by your librarians showing books that have been censored -- it seems that if there's a book worth reading, someone wants it removed from schools and libraries.)

Mar 02, 2017

A thoughtful essay. Quick read.

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