Posted on February 1, 2024 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

A friend once said that literature (and art) should arouse strong feelings.

What she didn't have in mind, though, was the current state of the literary world — or, rather, the politics that it's not immune from.

Today's news in various controversies involving books and authors:

  • A bill has been proposed in the Utah legislature that would allow for criminal charges against any public school employees (including teachers, obviously) that keeps "objectively sensitive" material available to students; a separate bill provides a definition for "objectively sensitive" (The Salt Lake Tribune).

  • Meanwhile, a one columnist suggests — earnestly — that those of us seeking a new beloved book look to such "objectively sensitive" material (The Los Angeles Times).

  • The Alabama Public Library Service, facing funding-cut threats from the state's governor and other external pressures, has decided the best way to handle this stress is to cut ties with the American Library Association; individual local libraries are able to remain members, if they choose (Book Riot).

  • The Israeli-Palestinian war continues to polarize the writing community, too; Literary Hub has news on an award-winning author who lost a residency over her support of Palestinian civilians and two novelists' severing of ties with PEN America over the latter organization's events with pro-Israeli figures.

Categories: Today in Books

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