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Burn This Book: Notes on Literature and Engagement Paperback – 1 Oct 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (1 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061774014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061774010
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 0.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,715,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The thought that leads me to contemplate with dread the erasure of other voices, of unwritten novels, poems whispered or swallowed for fear of being overheard by the wrong people, outlawed languages flourishing underground, essayists' questions challenging authority never being posed, unstaged plays, cancelled films - that thought is a nightmare." - Toni Morrison quoted in an article about censorship and the launch of the Free Speech Leadership Council.
--The Guardian,5 June 2009

About the Author

Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and, most recently, A Mercy. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction.

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Format: Paperback
Form: This is a slim volume/Anthology of essays on the power of writing/ the cost of censorship by PEN writers (PEN is the Human Rights Group that published this book).

Here is a brief introduction to each essays subject, along with some of my favourite quotes:

* Orphan Pamuk: His essay is about the importance of the PEN organisation.
* Ed Park: His interestingly formatted section muses on banned books especially books banned in schools.
* Francine Prose: Her essay is very disjointed, and basically turns into a list of book recommendations on political works.
* Russell Banks: Really interesting essay about novels as a source of significant social change.
* John Updike: This is a great meditation on why people write. 'Why write? As soon as as ask why rivet? Because a number of personal accidents drift us towards the occupation of riveter, which pre-exists, and, most importantly, the riveting gun exists, and we love it'.
* Paul Auster: His essay is also about why he writes.
* Nadine Gardiner: This is a fascinating essay on witness literature, in that if people turn their experiences of atrocities into literature then in becomes unavoidable and permanent in the collective conscience. This essay also has a thorough bibliography, which is great.
* Toni Morrison: This essay is way too short, but absolutely brilliant essay on the power of writing and why dictatorships are so frightened of writers that they have to censor them.
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