Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn your Book

Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn your Book

An Anatomy of A Book Burning

eBook - 2013
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"In 2011, Canadian writer Lawrence Hill received an email from a man in the Netherlands stating that he intended to burn The Book of Negroes, Hill's internationally acclaimed novel. Soon, the threat was international news, affecting Hill's publishers and readers. In this provocative essay, Hill shares his private response to that moment and the controversy that followed, examing his reaction to the threat, while attempting to come to terms with the book burner's motives and complaints. Drawing on other instances of book banning and burning, Hill maintains that censorship is still alive and well, even in this age of access to information. All who are interested in literature, freedom of expression and human rights will appreciate this passionate defence of the freedom to read and write"--Page 4 of cover.
Publisher: Edmonton, Alta. : University of Alberta Press ; Lancaster : Gazelle [distributor], 2013
ISBN: 9780888648204
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvii, 33 pages)


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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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