At one time or another, there’s been books deemed inappropriate, blasphemous or even considered dangerous. Even our ancestors, before the printed word, those who would pass stories on through songs and retelling, even they must have had stories that were not allowed to be shared. Forbidden stories that were whispered to one another when no-one else was around.
Throughout history, there has been different reasons societies have decided to ban a book or series. Even here in the UK there has been times when books have been deemed inappropriate and banned for a period of time. Such as The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, which was banned 1928-1949, Ulysses by James Joyce which was banned 1922-1936, and Lord Horror by David Britton which was banned 1991-1992.
Today, there are no banned books in the UK, this isn’t the case in some other parts of the world though. We’ve put together a list of 5 books which are currently banned somewhere in the world today, 5 books that you can find on the shelves at Hampshire Libraries.
There has been more banned books then we can fit in this blog, but have a look at these 5 banned books – all of which you can find and borrow from Hampshire Libraries.
Beijing Coma by Ma Jian
Banned in: China, 2008
This 2009 Man Booker nominated book, first published in 2008, has since been banned by the Chinese government.
Fifty Shades trilogy by E L James
Banned in: Malaysia, 2015
Three years after the first book was published, the trilogy as a whole was banned in Malaysia, as was deemed a “threat to morality” and for its “sadistic” material.
It’s not just the book that’s banned, the ban includes the printing, publication and ownership of the book.
So if you’re planning to visit Malaysia on holiday, maybe leave these books at home.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Banned in: some schools in the US and in all schools in the United Arab Emirate
The Harry Potter series has been banned in a number of schools across the US and in all school in the United Arab Emirate due to its magical themes, pagan themes and for religious reasons.
The Da Vinci code by Dan Brown
Banned in: Lebanon, 2004
The Da Vinci code was banned in Lebanon when it was first published in 2004, as it was deemed offensive to Christianity.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Banned in: North Korea, date unknown and schools in United Arab Emirates, 2002
When Animal Farm was first published in 1943 it was quickly banned in both the Soviet Union and other communistic countries for portraying communism in a negative light. Though it’s no longer banned in Russia, or countries that were part of the Soviet Union, it’s still banned in North Korea for the same reason.
In 2002, this book was banned in schools across United Arab Emirates for going against Islamic values.