Alice Munro on the Slippery Slope of Censorship

By Jason Boog Comment

Back in 1979, Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro responded to “pressure groups” trying to remove The Lives of Girls and Women from school reading lists. We’ve embedded the complete CBC TV interview above.

She explored the slippery slope of censorship–how these groups could move from book challenges to book banning. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

As soon as one step is taken, you have to start resisting because that makes the next step easier. The people who are concerned say they are not interested in taking books out of libraries or bookstores. I wonder if it is that they are not at this point interested in doing that. Because they are actually removing books from school reading lists which their children do not have to read. So they are taking away from other children.

Munro continued:

The people who are against the books, they somehow think they think if we don’t write about sex, it will disappear and it will go away. They talk about preserving their 17-year-old or 18-year old children. Protecting them. Well, biology doesn’t protect them. They don’t need to read books.

Books are still challenged every year. You can read free samples of the most frequently challenged books at this link.

The video was featured over at Reddit’s Litvideos page, a growing community spot to share book trailers, author interviews and other literary videos.