Hatfields, McCoys, and Book Banning

November 6, 2007 | 2 books mentioned 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.

Keep reading.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

One comment:

  1. 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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