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Hatfields, McCoys, and Book Banning

By posted at 5:13 am on November 6, 2007 1

Pat Conroy recently unleashed a verbal beating on a West Virginia school district that, prodded by complaints from parents, suspended the teaching of two of his novels. English teachers, in particular, will smile when they read this. It begins:

I received an urgent e-mail from a high school student named Makenzie Hatfield of Charleston, West Virginia. She informed me of a group of parents who were attempting to suppress the teaching of two of my novels, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music. I heard rumors of this controversy as I was completing my latest filthy, vomit-inducing work. These controversies are so commonplace in my life that I no longer get involved. But my knowledge of mountain lore is strong enough to know the dangers of refusing to help a Hatfield of West Virginia. I also do not mess with McCoys.

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One Response to “Hatfields, McCoys, and Book Banning”

  1. Benjamin Chambers
    at 7:14 am on November 7, 2007

    An elegantly written response to literary censorship – full of barely-restrained fury and great good humor. Too bad most of Conroy's targets won't get the Hatfield-McCoy allusion.

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