Toni Morrison on Censorship and the Power of the Written Word

burnthisbookPerhaps it is no accident that I happened to stumble upon Burn This Book edited by Morrison a few days before her birthday today.  Published in conjunction with the PEN American Center, the book is a collection of essays by famous authors, such as Updike and Rushdie, and  the meaning of censorship and the power of the written word.  Why write? is the question posed in the 11 essays in this slim powerful volume of work.  As Morrison states in her essay, Peril, “We all know nations that can be identified by the flight of writers from  their shores.  These are regimes  whose fear of unmonitored writing is justified because truth is trouble. ”   Written in 2009, Burn This Book is still relevant today  where the whole truth is often hidden from view. We are grateful to our writers, especially one as gifted as our beloved Toni Morrison, for as she writes ” A writer’s life and work are not a gift to mankind, they are its necessity.”

 

 

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