Tag Archives: banned books

New Acquisitions: Naked Lunch

When “Ten Episodes from Naked Lunch” first appeared in The Chicago Review, public outrage over obscenity caused the University of Chicago to suppress its publication. In response, Chicago Review editor Irving Rosenthal founded a new literary journal called Big Table, whose inaugural issue included a reprint of the ten episodes from William S. Burrough’s novel-in-progress. The completed novel was first published in Paris by Olympia Press in 1959.


FSU Special Collections & Archives is pleased to announce we have recently added Big Table I and the first edition, first printing, second issue of the Olympia Press Naked Lunch to the Gontarski Grove Press Collection. These two new editions strengthen our holdings in William S. Burroughs, which include the first US printing of Naked Lunch by the Grove Press, as well as important Burroughs literary manuscripts and correspondence in the Francois Bucher Papers.

Other new Grove Press titles include: Oh! Calcutta! by Kenneth Tynan and All Men Are Brothers (Shui Hu Chuan) translated by Pearl S. Buck.

Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Books Week 2016 is here! This year from September 25th to Ocimg_5315tober 1st, we celebrate open access to information and the freedom to read. FSU Special Collections & Archives is host to several frequently challenged and banned classics available for use in our Reading Room, including:

  • The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence (1928)
  • Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (1953)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (1884)
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley (1965)
  • The Call of the Wild, by Jack London (1903)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway (1940)img_5313
  • Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell (1936)
  • The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer (1948)
  • Howl, by Allen Ginsberg (1956)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (1960)
  • Ulysses, by James Joyce (1922)
  • Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs (1959)

For more information on banned books, check out the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week website.

Banned Books Week Exhibit — 24 September – 1 October

Banned Books Poster
Banned Books Poster for FSU Special Collections Exhibit 2011

Please join us in celebrating the freedom to read by stopping by the Exhibit Room in Strozier Library this week for our Banned Books Week Exhibit.

The tumultuous and often violent relationship between texts and the censorship of words and ideas has existed since ancient times. Throughout history, the censorship of books has taken the form of banning, burning, and bowdlerizing or expurgating. Authors and publishers of books have also been targeted; they have been tried in court, imprisoned, put to death, ostracized and in many cases have also gained celebrity-like fame and notoriety.

This exhibit highlights a wide variety of banned literature, from philosophical and scientific treaties banned on grounds of blasphemy to the very holy books themselves. Works of literature challenged and banned in school classrooms and public libraries for contradicting social attitudes on race, sexual conduct, and violence are included, as are books banned on political grounds for criticizing both ancient and modern political systems.

Banned Books Week PosterAlso, don’t miss the Banned Books Week Read-Out taking place on Monday, September 26, from noon until 1:00 p.m. in front of Strozier Library. FSU Library and Information Studies Professor and great friend to Special Collections Don Latham will serve as master of ceremonies as various Florida State luminaries read selections from some of their favorite banned books. Speakers will include:

 Wayne Wiegand:  The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Dennis Moore (English): TBA

Barbara Hamby (English):  Howl, Allen Ginsberg

RaMonda Horton-Ikard (Communication Science and Disorders):  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Pamala Doffek (Goldstein Library):  Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey

Vanessa Reyes: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Meredith Ross: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Laura Brenkus: Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

Allison George: And Tango Makes Three, Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

Be sure to check out the full calendar of Banned Books Week events on the Friends of The Florida State University Libraries page.

Some of my favorite books are right here in Special Collections

Cross Creek
First page of Cross Creek

It is great to work in a place that contains editions of your favorite books.   I love Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings books and especially Cross Creek, which was published in 1942 and is an autobiographical account of her life in rural North Central Florida.

Cross Creek Cookery was published in 1942.  Rawlings was a wonderful cook, using fresh dairy products from her cow, Dora, vegetables from her garden, and citrus from her grove.  She was known for her dinner parties and entertained famous people at Cross Creek, including Robert Frost.  We have a signed copy of this book.

Rawlings also wrote The Yearling, which was published in 1938 and earned her the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939.  While shifting in the Florida collection,  I came across an Armed Services Edition in paperback published in 1938, which is printed in two columns on each page.  We also have a signed copy of The Yearling,  School Edition, published in 1941.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
From signed edition of The Yearling, School Edition

Another favorite book of mine is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee published in 1960.  We have a first edition advanced reader’s copy of this book with an interesting cover that we have used in our Banned Books exhibits.  This book has been banned due to its racial themes.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Cover of first edition, advanced reader's copy

For me, Cross Creek and To Kill a Mockingbird are books that gave me a feeling of a time and place and stayed with me long after I finished reading them.  I have read Cross Creek a few times and the others only once, but I feel certain that I will read them all again in the future.  If you enjoy cooking and reading books about old Florida and the South like I do,  I highly recommend these books.