Provocative Panel Discussion About Growing and Dangerous Phenomenon to Feature Authors of Banned Books

Holocaust Museum LA presents Building Bridges:  A Conversation About Book Banning, Sunday, Oct. 22, at 5 p.m. at the museum. 

According to PEN America, books are under profound attack in the United States; and the organization recorded nearly 1,500 instances of book banning between July and December 2022. Books are disappearing from library shelves and being decreed off limits by school boards, legislators and prison authorities. It is the books that have long fought for a place on the shelf that are being targeted — books by authors of color, LGBTQ+ authors and women; and books about racism, sexuality, gender and history. 

PEN America has been a warrior in the fight against the banning of books and the intolerance, exclusion and censorship that support it. Allison Lee, PEN America’s Los Angeles managing director, will moderate the panel.  

Participating authors, whose books have been banned, include:

Elana K. Arnold, author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner “Damsel,” the National Book Award finalist “What Girls Are Made Of,” and Global Read Aloud selection “A Boy Called Bat” and its sequels. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections and have appeared on many best-book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in the Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

Dr. Eric Cervini is an award-winning author, producer and historian of LGBTQ+ politics. His first book, “The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America,” was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It also won the Publishing Triangle’s Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, the NYT Editors’ Choice and the “Best Read of 2020” at the Queerties.

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