Banned Books Conversations - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

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Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose
Banned books are works that have been removed from a library shelf or school curriculum. Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them.

Host: Tonya Todd
Video producer: JP Butler
Audio producer: Ria Carrogan
Graphics: Mike Burton

Guest panelists

Lisa Rayne: Teacher, writer, and former lawyer, Princeton alum. for books including Never Cross a Highlander featuring the first Black Highlander in romance. Scribal coaching authors how manage the business side of being an author. 

Gregory Kompes: Writer in many genres and university teacher and student. where there is information about books, including the latest in the Broadway series, Obsequious and about writer's workshops. 
Find him at AWP in February 2024 paneling with Tonya about queer identity in books.

Heather Young: Co-founder of a women's empowerment platform. and their newest podcast So She Slays Presents The Hangover, unfiltered and unapologetic discussions about our adult struggles, dating, pop culture, and social faux pas, and hopefully, you will have a good laugh. 

Episode summary:

Tonya hosted a discussion with Lisa Rayne, Gregory Kompes, and Heather Young. The conversation centered around the book 'Nineteen Minutes' by Jodi Picoult. The participants expressed their views on the importance of free access to literature, particularly in educational and public settings. Concerns were raised about the increasing polarization in society and the silencing of opposing viewpoints.

Gregory doesn't usually like to read about violence himself and he expected the ban to be due to violence and bullying content, or even that it could be a template for a student bent on revenge. He was surprised to learn that the ban was due to a one-page sex scene.

Lisa expressed her passion for literature and the importance of free access to it, particularly in educational and public settings. She is confounded by people's unwillingness to face reality and have good conversations about issues, especially when those conversations may save student lives. She also expressed her objections to certain classic literary works due to their portrayal of racism and the white savior complex. 

Tonya brought up an article/interview from the author Jodi Picoult, who says that she thinks often her books are banned just because others of her books are banned or because one person objects to something—like one mention of genitalia and then others jump on the band wagon but they don't actually read the book. The banning snowballs into something big based on nothing.

Heather shared her love for reading that developed after discovering the ability to visualize stories. She mentioned that by not having these conversations about difficult or painful subjects we are missing the chance to help kids think through grey areas.

Creators and Guests

Tonya Todd
Tonya Todd
Author | Actress | Activist ~ Fairy Queen ~Sapiosexual | Cinephile Writing Linguistic Sensuality (she/her) Repped by @askamycollins & @OpaqueMgt UK
Banned Books Conversations - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
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